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Transit passenger assaults Dubai airport policeman

Having been deplaned after four hours of waiting due to a technical glitch, suspect refused to have his luggage searched

Image Credit: Gulf News File
The passport control area at Dubai International Airport. For illustrative purposes only
Gulf News

Dubai: A transit passenger has been accused of getting physically violent with a policeman who tried to handcuff him after he refused to have his luggage searched following a long flight.

The 53-year-old Australian passenger was said to have been flying via Dubai and had been offered a hotel stay after a technical glitch forced the international carrier with whom he was flying to Sydney to delay the trip for a day in July.

Having been deplaned after four hours of waiting on board the carrier that was supposed to take off at 8.30am, according to records, the 53-year-old and other passengers were provided with a hotel stay near Dubai International Airport.

When asked by customs inspectors to have his luggage searched, the Australian passenger turned rowdy and refused to place his luggage in the scanning machine.

After failing to talk him into having his luggage searched, customs inspectors called up the police personnel present at the airport.

As the policeman tried to convince the passenger to have his luggage searched, the latter repeatedly and angrily refused, claiming that he had been on a long flight.

Following his duty lieutenant’s instructions to handcuff the Australian and bring him to the office for questioning, the 53-year-old grabbed the policeman by his shirt in and tried to violently prevent him from handcuffing him.

The two men fell down on the floor and the policeman sustained injuries on his knee and ankle.

Prosecutors charged the suspect with assaulting and injuring a policeman on duty.

The suspect failed to appear in the Dubai Court of First Instance where he was supposed to enter his plea on Sunday.

The policeman claimed to prosecutors that customs inspectors informed him about the passenger’s refusal to have his luggage searched.

“When I tried to talk him into putting his luggage in the detecting device, he refused. He was very angry and shouted loudly. When asked why he was refusing to be searched, he replied angrily because he had been on a very long flight and had been repeatedly asked to be searched. Once my supervisor instructed me to handcuff him, the suspect grabbed me [by] the shirt and resisted arrest. We both fell down on the floor and I injured myself when he turned physically violent. However, we managed to restrain him and took him into custody,” the policeman testified to prosecutors.

A customs inspector testified to prosecutors the suspect turned unnecessarily angry and shouted loudly at them when they repeatedly asked him put his luggage in the scanner for detection.

Presiding judge Mohammad Jamal will sentence the Australian suspect in absentia on October 22.