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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 June 2018

Smuggler caught at Dubai airport with Dh3 million worth of watches strapped to limbs 

European airline passenger was wearing or hiding 76 timepieces

Dubai Customs foils bid to smuggle jewellery and luxury watches in DXB terminal 3. (Courtesy-Dubai Customs)
Dubai Customs foils bid to smuggle jewellery and luxury watches in DXB terminal 3. (Courtesy-Dubai Customs)

An airline passenger was caught with Dh3 million worth of luxury watches strapped to his legs and around his waist as he passed through Dubai International Airport.

The European passport holder was carrying 76 luxury wristwatches and six items of jewellery studded with diamonds when he was pulled aside by customs officers at Terminal 3.

The traveller, whose nationality was not released, was attempting to avoid paying duty on the items, Dubai Customs said.

Officers said the man acted suspiciously when he left his flight and monitored him until he arrived at the customs area. He was then x-rayed with a full-body scanner, which is often used to detect drugs, only to find he had the jewellery and watches concealed under his clothes instead.

“Some people believe this technique of smuggling dutiable, must-be-declared goods in commercial quantities inside their clothes to avoid paying customs fees is viable. But Dubai airports are equipped with highly-developed scanning technology that detect any objects in people’s bodies", said Ibrahim Kamali, director of passenger operations at Dubai Customs,

"No matter how crafty the methods used by smugglers, they will not get past Dubai Customs’ technology, professionalism and body language expertise."