By Sam Bridge
Federal Customs Authority says man detained after it was found he had swallowed three bags of diamonds in bid to smuggle them into the UAE
An African national swallowed $90,000 worth of diamonds in a bid to smuggle them into the UAE, the Federal Customs Authority (FCA) has revealed.
The smuggling attempt of some 297 grams of rough diamonds was foiled at Sharjah International Airport in cooperation with the Sharjah Ports and Customs Department and the General Authority for the Security of Ports, Borders and Free Zones, state news agency WAM reported.
The suspect had swallowed the diamonds - contained in three plastic bags - in an attempt to smuggle them in to the UAE and sell them, it said.
Upon his arrival, the individual had his passport seized, and was escorted to customs inspectors who searched his luggage and body for the diamonds.
During questioning, the man, who works for a mobile phone company, admitted to visiting the UAE several times but said it was the first time he attempted to illegally bring in diamonds.
The FCA said that the individual had confessed to purchasing the black market diamonds with two other individuals, and had planned to sell the diamonds in the UAE, but had not specified any potential buyers.
Ali Saeed Alneyadi, chairman of the Federal Customs Authority, commended the swift response by customs officials.