Two Indian-origin women arrested for smuggling 4kg worth of gold in undergarments

Mumbai Airport's Custom wing arrested two Indian-origin foreign nationals for smuggling 4kg gold jewellery in their undergarments on Saturday, according to a report by Times of India on July 24, 2017.

The authorities also arrested a person waiting outside the airport to receive them and collect the gold, which was to be delivered to a shopkeeper in Bhayandar. The shopkeeper is currently wanted in the case.

Customs officials have sealed his shop, and the accused has been remanded to jail custody.

One of the women, Santaletchmi Superamaniam, was a Malaysian. When randomly asked about the purpose of her visit to Mumbai while she was crossing the Customs area, she told the officer that she had come for shopping and was going to Singapore the next day. 

That aroused the suspicion of the officer, as it was unusual to visit Mumbai for a shopping trip when the next stop, Singapore, is itself a shopping hub.

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Photo courtesy: Wiki
Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Photo courtesy: Wiki

When questioned by other officers, she told them about her accomplice, Magisvary Jairaman, a Singaporean who had crossed the Customs area, Times of India said.

Officials took Magisvary back to the Customs area and asked both women to pass through a metal detector. It revealed that they had concealed the gold in their upper and lower undergarments. A female Customs officer then recovered 2kg gold chains from each of them. They told officials a receiver was waiting for them outside.

The receiver told officials that he only played a limited role. His task was to collect the gold at regular intervals on the instructions of his Singapore-based handler, who would send the carrier's photographs to the receiver on mobile. Photographs of several other women were retrieved from the receiver's mobile, and some seemed to be models.

A customs official said in order to avoid suspicion, the handler used women who looked like high-profile executives, or were from affluent families and well-mannered. Officials admitted that generally such people do not come under the radar.

Kareyst Lin
Kareyst Lin – Senior Correspondent

Kareyst has experience in writing about B2B technology for Computerworld Singapore, MIS Asia and CIO Asia; and on government technology for GCIO Asia. Her pet areas are artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and smart cities - these are fueled by her obsession with sci-fi movies and philosophy of mind. An active Yoga practitioner and cat lover, with a background in Indian philosophy, subaltern and diaspora studies.


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