Authorities at Qatar’s Hamad International Airport have apprehended a man who they say had attempted to smuggle dozens of pieces of valuable jewelry into the country this week, QNA reports.
The passenger, whose nationality was not disclosed, had been transiting through the airport but wished to enter the country with one of his suitcases, while checking the other one in ahead of the rest of his trip.
QNA states that customs grew suspicious of the man, who was eventually searched. An officer found small packages under his clothes that contained seven diamond rings, three pearl necklaces and 43 pieces of natural pearl.
Officials estimated the jewelry to be worth some $1.2 million.
According to HIA’s website, passengers in possession of personal items and gifts whose value exceeds QR3,000 ($825) must declare this and are subject to tariffs and duties.
The passenger was referred to authorities for legal action.
Over the past few weeks, customs officials have seized millions of riyals worth of gold, drugs and undeclared cash from passengers at the airport.
Qatar is becoming an increasingly popular transit point for smuggled goods, especially drugs, as the expanding national carrier helps grow HIA into an international aviation hub.