ABU DHABI // Customs officials have thwarted two attempts to smuggle millions of Saudi riyals into the UAE through the Al Ghuwaifat border post.
The smugglers tried to bring 9.7 million riyals (Dh9.5m) in two attempts, Abu Dhabi Customs said on Monday.
In the first, inspectors became suspicious of a vehicle driven by a man from an Asian country with an unusual load in the trunk. When they inspected the vehicle, officers found 7m riyals hidden in a bag filled with clothes.
The second attempt at smuggling was foiled when officers inspected a truck, also driven by a man from an Asian country, entering through Al Ghuwaifat.
They used scanning devices that found a secret compartment with a package wrapped in tape that contained more than 2.7m riyals.
“During the investigation, both travellers admitted that the amount of money seized was not disclosed according to the UAE cash disclosure law,” Abu Dhabi Customs said.
“Both cases were transferred to the concerned authorities to take all necessary legal actions.”
Mohamed Al Hameli, acting director general of Abu Dhabi Customs, praised the preparedness of Customs inspectors and their role in protecting the country from illegal trade that could threaten the country’s security and economy.
“The disclosure of cash law is implemented for statistical purposes only and is associated with international standards that the UAE is committed to,” said Mr Al Hameli.
“There are no restrictions on the amount of money one can bring into or take out of the country, if the money is disclosed.”
In September 2011, the UAE Central Bank raised the minimum amount of money that must be disclosed.
It meant that visitors must declare travellers’ cheques and bearer bonds that can be converted into cash in amounts of between Dh40,000 and Dh100,000, or an equal amount in foreign currencies, on arrival and departure.