By Sarah Townsend
Chinese housewife reportedly approaches inspector to help her bring container into Dubai without declaration form
A woman has been accused of offering AED10,000 ($2,700) to a customs inspector to help her bring a container into Dubai without a declaration form.
The 33-year-old Chinese housewife spoke with the customs inspector at one of the Dubai Customs branches and offered him the bribe to help her release the container, which was seized at a port in October, reported Gulf News.
According to the newspaper the suspect pleaded innocent when she appeared before the Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday.
But the inspector told prosecutors in court that the woman had approached him several times when she was finalising customs’ transactions to import containers from China.
One container imported without a declaration form was seized on suspicion that the suspect wanted to evade customs fees. She allegedly claimed the products had been mistakenly loaded into the container and was given a reference number for the case.
The inspector told the court the woman asked for his contact number to follow up. “Later, she sent me a text message in which she asked me to help her and that if I did she would be appreciative,” Gulf News reported him as saying.
He allegedly informed his supervisors and communicated with the defendant “as per the directives of [the Customs’] legal department”. When the woman offered to pay him money to help her, the official allegedly followed his supervisors’ instructions and met the woman in Deira, where she was arrested in an undercover sting operation after handing him the money in an envelope.
The suspect has denied the bribery claim. “Did you offer the inspector Dh10,000 in bribe?” judge Urfan Omar asked her in court on Thursday. “Not at all,” she replied.
The case has been adjourned until April 13.