Couple caught for stealing bags at Dubai airport
Dubai - Dubai Customs carried out a sting operation termed 'Illusion Thief' to nab the culprits.
By Web Report
Published: Tue 15 Jan 2019, 1:40 PM
Last updated: Wed 16 Jan 2019, 12:48 AM
Dubai Customs arrested a duo for stealing luggage from an airport in Dubai.
The sting operation to nab the perpetrators, nicknamed the 'Illusion Thief', had taken place over several stages.
Multiple reports had been made regarding missing luggage at Dubai International Airport.
After forming a team to investigate the reports, it became clear that someone was stealing the baggage at the airport's arrivals hall.
Teams canvassed all arriving flights and narrowed a list of potential suspects from nearly 20,000 passengers down to 10 travellers.
Further analysis showed one potential suspect of Arab descent who appeared to be operating with the help of a female accomplice of the same nationality.
The authorities put him on a watchlist and traced the man's whereabouts and his travels. He appeared to be coming back to the UAE on December 30, so the Customs Authority was alerted of the man's arrival and prepared an ambush.
After he alighted in the airport, the man and the accomplice were identified and monitored by surveillance cameras as well as the customs team on the ground.
They had taken multiple bags and were removing the identifying stickers off of them to mislead the customs officers.
Upon being stopped by an official and asked if he had anything to declare, the man replied in the negative.
When the baggage emerged from the X-ray machine, a customs officer observed the man trying to remove the sticker. Three other bags in his possession also had no stickers.
The customs team was able to recover three stickers thrown on a chair in the arrivals hall.
Upon questioning the man regarding the luggage and its contents, he replied it had clothes and saffron. When they opened the bags, officials found wrapped Christmas gifts.
When they checked the name on the tag, they found a discrepancy where his passport did not match the name on the bag. He claimed that the bag belonged to his wife, then later changed his statement to claim it was for his friend.
On the other side, the female accomplice had also been questioned and searched, where they found a sticker in her shoe.
When they asked her about the sticker, she confessed that the man who was with her had asked her to remove them and keep them in her shoe to evade the customs tax.
Further questioning revealed that she was working with the suspect and would receive monetary compensation for passing stolen luggage bags through customs undetected.
With her confession, the customs authorities filed a case and handed both suspects over to Dubai Police.