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GENERAL Luggage-lifter caught red handed at airport

Dubai Customs nab Arab man as he tried to walk away with baggage of other passengers

By Sharmila Dhal, Senior Reporter
January 9, 2013
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Crooks around the world will try the most audacious ways to steal. But not all of them get away with their loot. A thief found this out the hard way when he was busted as he tried to walk away with the luggage of some passengers at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 last week.

Ali Al Maghawi, Director of Airport Operations Department at Dubai Customs, said customs inspectors became suspicious of the Arab passenger when they noticed him moving from belt to belt and picking up bags at random. Although he had arrived on an Emirates flight from an Arab country, he was moving between belts conveying bags of flights coming from European countries.

Unaware that he was being watched, the passenger removed the airline stickers from the bags, put them on a trolley and casually wheeled them towards the customs area.

He couldn’t get far.

A team of inspectors was waiting for him. They stopped the man and enquired about the bags. When he claimed they were his, they asked him to open the bags for inspection. Now cornered, the thief tried to bluff, saying he had misplaced the keys.

Obviously the ruse didn’t work.

Customs officers contacted Emirates to find out how many pieces of luggage he had with him when he boarded the flight. As it turned out, he was carrying just one before arriving in Dubai. It didn’t take long for authorities to work out the maths.

Incidentally, there were reports of four missing bags on other Emirates flights. The owners of these bags when contacted, immediately identified the luggage as theirs.

Realising that his cover had been blown, the thief confessed that he had stolen the bags. He was promptly referred to the Airports Security General Department for further action.

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