Gold bars seized
Representational Image

Hauling in the biggest seizures over the past 20 years in Mumbai, the customs department seized 38kgs of gold, worth Rs 11. 40 crores, concealed amongst women’s footwear.

Found in the cargo of a Dongri based importer, who had declared the goods as women’s bathroom slippers. The package was arriving from Thailand and landed in Indira docks on September 21 as per a report by the Times of India. The consignment was then shifted to Ssewri Timber Pond for customs examination.

Officials at the department then carried out routine checks on the consignments. As per an official, "This is done either on intelligence or a built-in system that picks up consignments based on fixed parameters like the country of origin, past imports and profile of importer.'' In this case, the officials checked this consignment as the company was a first-time importer.

On close examination, an officer noticed some suspicious looking images on the scanner and found 38 bars that were concealed inside the slippers. Officials from the Special Intelligence and Investigation Branch of Customs were questioning directors of Al Reham Impex and the clearing agent to gather more details on how the gold was received and sent to the port.

Officials also added that the gold bars had Thailand marking, which officials say is quite rare. As per the Customs commissioner, Prachi Saroop said they were investigating the case.