An attempt to smuggle $804,000 (Dhs 2.9 million) of fake $100 notes through Dubai International Airport has been foiled by Dubai Customs officers last Wednesday 26 January 2011.
Ali Al Mugahwi, Director of the Passengers Operations Department said that Dubai Customs inspectors suspected a European tourist who arrived at Terminal 3 with a tourist visa, and his passport showed that he was a businessman. He looked confused and tense after he had his passport stamped and headed to inspection area.
Al Mugahwi added that the suspect was monitored closely until he arrived at the inspection area where he was told to put his two bags for inspection. The suspect tried to mislead the inspectors by putting only one of the bags, and when he was asked to open the other one he became even more tense and anxious. In the bag, the inspectors found bundles of banknotes that consisted of 8040 of fake $ 100 notes as well as 2300 notes ready for counterfeiting.
Al Mugahwi added that the passenger claimed during investigation, carried out by investigators of passenger investigation department at Dubai International Airport, that unidentified persons in a European country asked him to carry the bag to Dubai and to reside in one of the hotels where he had to wait for someone who would come later to take the bag.
"Dubai Customs makes great efforts to combat all kinds of smuggling, including the smuggling of fake currency which has a negative effect on the UAE economy," said Al Mugahwi
"This is achieved by hiring highly qualified inspectors who go through a number of specialized courses in body language and customs monitoring. They also receive regular training in inspection methods".
Al Mughawi explained that smuggling counterfeit money is considered one of the crimes that are punishable and prosecutable worldwide due to its bad impacts on economy and business especially in cities like Dubai which is one of the most interesting and important tourist and economic destinations targeted by millions of visitors and tourists every year.
In co-ordination with Dubai Police the suspect, who is visiting Dubai for the first time, along with the seized money, was handed over to Dubai airport Police for investigation and prosecution.