Tuesday, May 17, 2016 7:24 am
A Nigerian and a Slovak using Dubai airport as transit point have been arrested at Rome’s Fiumicino airport for trying to smuggle cocaine into Italy.
The 19-year-old Slovak was caught with two kilos (4.4 pounds) of cocaine stashed in a false bottom of his suitcase. He had departed from Rio de Janeiro and had a flight transfer in Dubai.
The Nigerian who similarly used Dubai as transit airport hid vials of cocaine in his socks.
The street value of the two seizures was put at around half a million dollars (441,000 euros).
Their arrests highlight the increasing use of Dubai airport as transit point by drug smugglers bringing high-value narcotics into Europe. The smugglers do not leave Dubai’s transit lounge, as this would expose them to customs checks, the Italian police said in a press release.
Instead, they use the Dubai-Europe leg and the tough anti-drug reputation of the United Arab Emirates to mask the country where they began their trip.
“The trick aims at providing the smuggler with an itinerary that looks unsuspicious to police officers,” they said.