By Ahmed Shaaban www.khaleejtimes.com
The Dubai Customs has foiled a bid to smuggle in Dh206,000 counterfeit banknotes, in a case of coded carbon dollar operation, at the Dubai International Airport, Terminal-1.
“The $65,500 seized, equivalent to Dh206,000, was concealed in the luggage of a female African passenger,” the Director of Passengers Operations Department, Ali Al Mugahwi, told Khaleej Times on Wednesday.
The amount was in the form of sheets of carbon paper bearing the image of dollar notes.
The strange behaviour of the female passenger aroused the suspicion of Dubai Customs inspectors.
When the suspect’s luggage was electronically examined, nothing suspicious was detected, said Al Mugahwi. However, sheets of black carbon paper bearing the picture of $100 notes and of other denominations were found hidden upon manual search.
“Some 565 sheets of paper were found in different parts of the luggage. These papers are believed to be used in witchcraft and money multiplication crimes,” he said.
During interrogation, the detainee confessed she was planning to purchase certain chemical substances used in forging money to apply on the seized papers to make them look like original banknotes. The smuggler and the seized sheets of paper were then referred to the Airports Security Department as part of coordination between Dubai Customs and the Directorate General of Dubai Police.
In May, the Dubai Customs foiled a bid to smuggle Dh2 million counterfeited banknotes. The fake money was found on an African passenger who was flying to the UAE apparently for trade activities.
In February this year, the Dubai Customs thwarted several bids to smuggle fake credit cards and banknotes. “These included 51 fake credit cards and $100 bank notes worth Dh2.9 million. Fake traveller cheques worth Dh14 million were also seized in November 2010 at the Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village.”
“The Dubai Customs also busted 172 attempts for passengers from 22 nationalities to smuggle forged credit cards into Dubai in 2010. Of these, 50 were valued at over Dh1.5 million,” he added.
Al Mugahwi said Dubai Customs, armed with highly qualified inspectors, sophisticated surveillance and scanning devices and advanced inspection methods help curb illegal practices, particularly “fake currency which disastrously affects the national economy and impede activities of the registered companies across the country.”