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| 14 February, 2018

22 people found hiding inside concrete mixer in UAE

Back-up officers from a nearby police station had to be requested.

Labourers work near the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, in Dubai May 9, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Labourers work near the Burj Khalifa, the tallest tower in the world, in Dubai May 9, 2013. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

UAE - An attempt to sneak 22 illegal immigrants in a concrete mixer truck into the UAE was foiled in Sharjah recently, authorities have revealed. The Federal Customs Authority (FCA), in collaboration with the Department of Seaports & Customs in Sharjah, foiled the attempt through the Khatam Milaha border crossing point.

Commissioner Ali bin Subaih Al Kaabi, chairman of the Federal Customs Authority, said they earlier alerted all local customs department about the smuggling bid based on a tip-off. "We were informed that there would be an attempt to illegally smuggle an unidentified number of infiltrators into the country." Mohammed Al Raisi, director of the Khatam Al Milaha border crossing point, said the 22 infiltrators were busted in the first week of February.

An X-ray scanner used at the inspection point clearly showed the 22 infiltrators hiding in the cement mixer, he added. The infiltrators included 21 Asians and an African woman.

The customs officer in charge ordered the staff to "remain calm" before taking action. "This was because of the large number of infiltrators in the cement mixer. It was possible that they included serial criminals or had weapons."

The entire area was first cordoned off. "The Kalba Police also sent additional troops to secure the crossing border."

The driver of the truck was asked to jump on the mixer and instruct the infiltrators to get out quietly. "The 22 infiltrators then got out of the cement mixer one by one, following which they were detained and taken into police custody for interrogation."

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