UAE | 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
  • Published: 22:05 January 9, 2013

  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Customs officials got suspicious when they saw the man moving from belt to belt and picking up bags at Terminal 3 and caught him when he approached the customs area.
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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.

Comments (21)

Your comments
  1. Added 11:45 January 10, 2013

    Great job by the Officers. This sort of theft should also be avoided by keeping some type of baggage ID check at the exit. If he would have walked out then people would have lost all their valuables.

    Apsi, AbuDhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 10:32 January 10, 2013

    What kind of fools are there in U.A.E??

    Kamran, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:17 January 10, 2013

    Great team work, highly appreciate the quick action of all team members and I personally congratulate every one. These kind of criminals must be punished and highlighted in the public as a lesson to others.

    Mir Khurshid Ali, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 10:07 January 10, 2013

    Hats off to Dubai Custom officers for their quick response action.

    Wilson Monteiro, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 09:28 January 10, 2013

    Great job from all customs and security officers! Please keep up the amazing hard work! All the best! Keep the UAE a safe traveling and living destination!

    Mohammad, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:14 January 10, 2013

    Very good. Such people deserve to be in jail only. Well done, inspectors of DXB Airport !

    Anonymous, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:14 January 10, 2013

    Excellent job by the authorities! Congrats! These thieves should be shown publicly and give the hardest punishment. Seems there is no place in this world that are secured from criminals. GOD save this world!

    Ajay M Nair, Sharjah, India

  8. Added 09:12 January 10, 2013

    Proud of you Dubai customs!!!!! You guys simply are the best!!!!! May GOD bless you!

    Arun Nair, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  9. Added 08:52 January 10, 2013

    Great Work, caught in just the right time, passengers would have sufferred severly and so would the airline. I remember since the age of 2 I've been flying as I grew up I remember at all airports the airlines officials crosscheck the tags on bags with counter foils attached to the tickets. Keep up the good work.

    Ebrahim Al Mulla, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 08:49 January 10, 2013

    Well done Dubai Customs for handling this!

    ray, charles, United Arab Emirates

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