Man caught with 3m euros of fake cash at airport, court told

Traveller had thousands of fake notes stashed in suitcase

Dubai, August 16, 2011 - Euro notes in Dubai, August 16, 2011. (Jeff Topping/The National) STOCK
Powered by automated translation

A man was caught out smuggling three million euros of counterfeit cash inside a suitcase at Dubai International Airport, a court heard.

The Pakistani traveller had landed in the UAE on a flight from Italy when thousands of fake bank notes were discovered during a search.

The 51-year-old insisted he did not know he was carrying the illegal currency – saying he had been handed the luggage to carry by another man.

When questioned by police, he provided them with the name of the man who had given him the cash-filled case and a 36-year-old compatriot was tracked down and arrested.

Both men denied a charge of smuggling fake banknotes with an intention to sell at Dubai Criminal Court.

An Emirati customs inspector said the counterfeit cash was found after the luggage was scanned at about 2.30am on July 29.

“We opened it and found Euros which we suspected were counterfeit,” said the 31-year-old Emirati inspector.

The case was searched manually and thousands of 500 euro notes were found, which inspectors suspected to be fake.

The man was held and the currency – totalling €2.915 million (Dh12.25 million) – was sent for testing, where it was found to be fake.

The man told prosecutors he unwittingly brought the money into the country.

"A man gave me the bags to carry to Dubai and I didn't even know or ask why," said the defendant.

The next hearing is due to be held on November 4.