The Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) of Mumbai customs intercepted 18 Kenyan women at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Sunday for carrying 3.85 kg of undeclared gold worth Rs 1.55 crore into the country, said sources.
The women, who had flown to India from Nairobi via Sharjah, were carrying small gold bars hidden in Shawarmas, bottles of ground coffee and shoes. Some gold was also found in their undergarments, said sources. “All of them were on the same flight,” said sources.
The AIU has so far arrested one woman for carrying gold more than the permissible limit. The other 17 have been let go after the agency seized their undeclared gold.
According to sources, a probe has so far found that these women are not a part of any smuggling racket.
“They are mostly poor women who bought gold from Kenya at a lower price and wanted to sell it in Mumbai, where the price of gold is much higher,” said a source.
“Typically most of the smuggled gold has its origin in Dubai or Sharjah, however, we are increasingly witnessing cases of gold smuggling from African countries,” the source added.
Last month, the AIU has intercepted and arrested two passengers at the airport for smuggling 1.71 kg of gold worth Rs 77 lakh into the country from Dubai.