Dubai Customs thwarts passengers' attempt to smuggle remodeled gold bars

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Dubai Customs has seized 24-carat gold bars weighing 2.3 kilograms, with a market value of about $132,000 (Dh485,700), which two passengers had attempted to smuggle into the emirate through the Dubai International Airport.

The passengers reportedly tried to deceive the inspectors by distributing the ingots into several bags and melting and molding them into buckles used for the bags and belts they carry.

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The total weight of the bullions in the first seizure was 1,072 kilograms, valued at approximately $61,260 (Dh225,120) and the second seizure was 1,241 kilograms, valued at approximately $71,000 (Dh260,610).

“With this Dubai Customs proves again that it stands firm against all the smuggling attempts relying on a team of highly qualified inspectors and very advanced technologies,” Ibrahim Kamali, director of the Passenger Operations Department said in a statement.

“The high sense of security led the inspectors, and as part of their routine work in facilitating customs procedures and monitoring passenger movement, to suspect the passenger’s bag.”

The director continued, “The bag was x-rayed, showing density variation. After a thorough examination, we discovered that all the buckles in the bag are made of pure gold, and they were painted in a different color as a means of camouflage. More investigation led to thwarting the second passenger’s haul.”

Kamali said that the department enrolls customs officers in specialized and innovative training courses in body language and identification of drug types, in addition to investing in advanced detection devices.

“Smuggling methods vary according to the type of smuggled material, size of the shipment and means of transport. Travelers use a variety of tricks, including hiding their contrabands in secret pockets at the bottom of large bags,” Kamali said.

“Some smugglers try to take advantage of the quick and simple customs procedures mistakenly thinking that this would compromise with security, but they are very wrong. There is no compromise whatsoever when it comes to the security and safety of our society and borders.”

Earlier this year, the governmental body told Al Arabiya English that Dubai Customs made 936 drug seizures across its land, sea, air and passenger ports in the first four months of 2022.

This compares to 558 seizures in the same period last year.

Dubai Customs thwarted several attempts to smuggle narcotic substances, which included tramadol tablets, captagon, opium, heroin, hemp seeds, crystal meth, marijuana, and other narcotics.

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