Emirates ordered to pay passenger more than $2m over long-lost luggage

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 17/06/2013: Emirates Airline Tail logo lined up at a terminal at Dubai International DXB

A Nigerian judge has ordered Emirates to pay a passenger more than $2 million dollars for allegedly losing his luggage 12 years ago.

Nigerian businessman Orji Prince Ikem claims he was travelling to China in 2007 with US$1.63 million ($2.2 million) in his hand luggage when the airline lost his bag, according to The Independent.

The Federal High Court in Lagos heard that Ikem was carrying the money to purchase goods in China, with US$700,000 ($916,793) belonging to him and US$930,000 ($1.21 million) belonging to another businessman.

Ikem alleges he was approached by Emirates staff before boarding his multi-stop flight from Lagos to Guangzhou via Dubai and Hong Kong, who insisted he hand over his luggage as it would be safer in their care.

He said he was reluctant to do so but was worried about missing his flight. Despite being given two luggage tags with reference numbers, the bags were never located.

After hearing Ikem had gone to great lengths over the past 12 years, including multiple trips to Guangzhou and Dubai airports, Judge Muslim Hassan ruled in his favour, claiming the carrier had not sufficiently refuted Ikem’s claims.

“I hold that Emirate Airlines failed in [its] obligations to [the] customer by not delivering the luggage containing the sum of $1.63 million,” he said, according to the Independent.

Hassan ordered the airline to pay back the lost money plus an additional US$131,164 ($171,623) in compensation.

A spokesperson for Emirates told Travel Weekly it was fighting the ruling.

“Emirates has already filed an appeal in this matter and we will be vigorously defending our position,” the spokesperson said.

Featured image source: iStock/Karol Ciesluk

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