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Kenyan nationals arrested at Mumbai airport for smuggling $305K worth of gold

Monday May 13, 2024

FILE - A photo of gold bars. PHOTO LIVEMINT.COM

Nairobi (HOL) — Three Kenyan nationals were detained at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport on Saturday on charges of attempting to smuggle gold into India, authorities reported.

Customs officials said Samira Abdi (37), Feiza Hassan (25), and Fardowsa Abdi (30) were intercepted after they arrived from Addis Ababa via an Ethiopian Airlines flight. The suspects approached the red channel counter at Terminal 2, purportedly to declare 2.540 kilograms of gold. However, a thorough inspection revealed a total of 3 kilograms, exceeding the declared amount by 460 grams.

During a detailed search, officials discovered 11 gold bars hidden in the undergarments of Samira Abdi. Both Feiza Hassan and Fardowsa Abdi admitted to aiding in 
the concealment of the gold bars. The gold seized was valued at approximately $305,345 USD.

In their statements, the suspects stated that they had obtained the gold on credit from a dealer in Nairobi, with plans to capitalize on India's high gold prices. Their plan involved returning the proceeds to Kenya.

The arrest highlights an ongoing issue with gold smuggling activities between Kenya and India. The suspects have been taken into judicial custody, pending further investigation.

The arrest comes shortly after another in February when a similar smuggling attempt was foiled by Indian customs. 


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