Woman on Sharjah to India flight caught smuggling gold in underwear

Gold paste hidden in undergarments to avoid around Dh30,000 in tax in Delhi

A customs officer in Delhi cuts open a bra to reveal hidden gold paste. The woman was trying to avoid paying a 10.75 per cent tax on imported gold. Photo: Delhi Customs
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A woman who smuggled gold worth more than Dh300,000 ($81,688) in her underwear on a flight from Sharjah was arrested by Indian police.

Officials at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport intercepted the passenger shortly after she arrived in India on a flight from the UAE.

She was trying to avoid paying the tax the Indian government levies on imported gold.

The authorities at IGIA, one of the country’s busiest airports, posted a short video on June 13 showing how 1.5 kilograms of gold paste had been concealed in the lining of several items of the woman’s underwear.

She was picked out and searched by officials based on passenger profiling.

In previous attempts by passengers to smuggle gold from the UAE into India the precious metal was hidden inside clothing, electrical appliances, concealed in the lining of baggage, dentures and even worn under wigs.

The route from Dubai to India is a popular one for smugglers trying to avoid paying duty on the gold they import.

India charges 10.75 per cent of the value of gold taken into the country, although there is no limit on the amount of gold that can be taken out of the UAE free of tax.

Gold is the number one commodity traded in Dubai.

In 2020 the value of gold traded in the UAE was about $57 billion, with 112 countries importing from Dubai.

Updated: June 16, 2022, 9:10 AM