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Dubai airport guard accused of eating $100 he stole from passenger

Passenger claims suspect put banknote in his mouth and tried to swallow it with water

Gulf News

Dubai: An airport security guard tried to swallow a $100 bill (Dh367) after he was accused of stealing it from a woman’s handbag at Dubai International Airport.

The 33-year-old Bangladeshi was said to have stolen the $100 note from an American woman while checking her luggage before she boarded an Emirates flight.

The woman’s husband, who is a commercial pilot, spotted the defendant, H.A., taking the money and hiding it in his pocket, the court heard.

Records said when the pilot confronted H.A., he rushed towards the nearest water cooler, crushed the $100 then put it in his mouth and tried to drink and swallow it quickly.

When the defendant appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance, he pleaded not guilty and contended: “While I was searching the passenger’s handbag, the banknote fell on the floor. I picked it up and kept it with me to give it back… they busted me in less than one minute.”

The American pilot testified that he heard his wife shouting at the defendant and asking him to return the money on June 20.

“My wife saw the defendant dropped the $100 on the ground, and then he bent down and picked it up then put it in his pocket. At first, the defendant claimed that he didn’t take any money. I called his supervisor, who searched the suspect and informed me that he didn’t find anything in his possession. I insisted on calling the police. Before the police arrived, the suspect said he wanted to drink water… I walked along with him to the water cooler. I saw him chewing when he wanted to drink water… I stopped him immediately. He refused to take out what was in his mouth. One of the airport’s security claimed that he saw the defendant removing something from his mouth then placed it in his pocket. Police searched him and found the banknote wrinkly and soaked with saliva,” claimed the pilot.

Records said the American dropped his police complaint and travelled with his wife.

A judgment will be heard on March 31.