Customs officials have stopped a traveller allegedly trying to smuggle 23 kilograms of “black magic” contraband into Dubai.
The man, who had travelled from an African country, had 120 illicit items in his luggage, including talismans, pieces of leather, papers with writing and bottles containing unidentified liquids.
Officials confiscated the items after they became suspicious about his behaviour. Police said the incident happened at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 1 in October.
The man was referred to the police for investigation.
“We are aware of the dangers these materials used in witchcraft can cause and we provide our inspectors with all kinds of training to educate them about the nature and different types of these materials,” said Khalid Ahmed, director of passenger operations at Dubai Customs.
He said smugglers often resort to new methods to mislead customs authorities.
Practising black magic or attempting to smuggle sorcery items is illegal under UAE laws.
Those caught smuggling them are subject to prison, fines or both.
In July this year, a traveller who had tied contraband, including talismans and belts and bracelets made from animal skin, to his waist was stopped by customs officers at Dubai airport.
Officials said they foiled more than 22 attempts to smuggle black magic items in 2019 and seized more than 68kg of black magic contraband at Dubai International Airport between 2018 and 2020.
Other items previously confiscated included knives, worry beads, magic books and bags containing fish skeletons, bones and blood.