Dubai Customs thwart 
attempt to smuggle 1,000 fake traveller cheques

DUBAI — Dubai Customs recently thwarted a bid to smuggle in some 1,000 fake traveller cheques issued in the name of international companies at Dubai International Airport.

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Published: Mon 15 Nov 2010, 11:39 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 4:00 PM

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Omar Al Muhairi, Senior Manager of Air Cargo Operations at Dubai Customs, said the cheques issued in different amounts and currencies including US dollars and euros were valued at Dh2million.

“The contraband hidden into two wraps inside two packages was heading from an African country to the emirate for local use in the markets here during the Eid Al Adha holiday,” Muhairi said. The case filed as ‘Eid Cheques’ is one of the biggest at the Dubai Customs. The seizure took place in the inspection area of the free zone, Dubai International Airport. “Dubai Customs has extended its inspection operations to all business-related transactions,” he said. A random sample of the contraband was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Department of Dubai Police for examination and verification. “The cheques proved to be totally counterfeit in a cunning way that may have deceived a normal person,” the official added. The case and seizures were then referred to the directorate general of the airports security with Dubai Police to take the necessary action and arrest the receivers of the packages.

“Dubai Customs, being fully aware of smugglers’ tricks, particularly those based on technology, is always developing its inspectors’ skills so that they can easily uncover scams,” Muhairi said. A traveller’s cheque is a preprinted, fixed-amount cheque designed to allow the person signing it to make an unconditional payment to someone else as a result of having paid the issuer for that privilege.

“Being favoured as a secure tool in purchasing by travellers who do not want to carry cash has enticed counterfeiting gangs to abuse the tourist seasons and feasts, and practise their illegal frauds and racketeering,” he said. He then said forged traveller cheques pose a serious risk to the society and economy, and disturbs commercial transactions.

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