Kenyan Woman Who Snuck Out of Country With Ksh 26.4M Gold, Arrested in India

Travellers receiving services at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
Travellers receiving services at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
Larry Madowo

The screening systems at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) have once again been put on the spot after a Kenyan woman was arrested with smuggled gold upon arrival in India. 

Indian media outlets reported that the 38-year-old woman was attempting to smuggle about 3.6 kilograms of gold worth Ksh26.4 million (INR 1.5 crore) on Tuesday, February 20.

Media reports indicate that the lady was enticed into joining the gold smuggling syndicate because she had loans to repay. Police, however, did not disclose whether other members of the smuggling racket had been arrested.

The Kenyan woman was apprehended at the Mumbai International Airport after flying in from Nairobi raising questions on how she sneaked out of the country with the gold undetected.

Passengers inside the Mumbai International Airport in India
Passengers inside the Mumbai International Airport in India
Mumbai International Airport

Indian police searched her bag and recovered 112 gold bars, five 22-carat melted gold cut bars, and 21-carat gold assorted jewellery.

According to Indian police officers, the 38-year-old woman was among eight other people from different countries who were also caught trying to smuggle in gold phones.

During the interrogation, the Kenyan lady admitted to smuggling the gold and is currently being detained at the local police station as investigations continue.

Indian police have dealt with numerous cases of Kenyans attempting to smuggle gold into the country.

 In October 2023, four Kenyan women were arrested after allegations they were part of yet another syndicate.

After police searched the women's hotel room, they seized US dollars amounting to Ksh49.9 million and Indian Rupees amounting to Ksh11.3 million, money believed from the proceeds of cross-border crime.

Police revealed that the women would smuggle gold from other foreign countries before selling it to India where it was melted and refined and subsequently converted into gold bars.

Another woman was arrested attempting to smuggle gold through the Mumbai International Airport. The 40-year-old Kenyan woman had stashed the gold in her inner garments.

Police recovered 17 pieces of 22-carat melted gold bars in her innerwear and 21-carat jewellery hidden in her body. She was detained for further investigations.

Gold bars on display
A photo of someone displaying gold bars.
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