Dubai Mule Full of Heroin

By Jennifer Matesa 08/04/11

Body language and scanners gave away drug mule with no fewer than 95 dime-bags in his stomach.

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Police in Dubai announced that customs officials using full-body scanners found 95 bags of heroin—weighing 864g, almost two lbs—in an Afghan drug mule’s stomach. He was at full capacity—the scanner revealed the capsules filled his stomach and were also in his intestines. Dubai customs doesn’t use its three full-body scanners on all passengers, but eagle-eyed officials—who are trained to study travelers’ body-language and to recognize erratic behavior—singled out the mule for special attention when he appeared "afraid and confused." He had flown in from Pakistan and was set to be paid about $500 for his services. His arrest led to the arrests of five other men smuggling heroin through the United Arab Emirates en route to other countries in the Gulf region and Europe. A total of three kilos of heroin were found, with a value of UAE Dh550,000 (about $150,000). Following these arrests, Dubai airport is adding an extra 30 trained sniffer dogs to its existing team of 35.

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Jennifer Matesa is a Voice Award Fellow at the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is the author of the blog Guinevere Gets Sober. She is the author of several books, including the non-fiction, The Recovering Body, about physical and spiritual fitness for living clean and sober. You can find Jennifer on Linkedin or follow her on Twitter.