Russian trapped trying to smuggle gold in her shoes

MOSCOW: Russian customs officials detained a woman on the Chinese border with almost two kilos of gold in her shoes after she seemed to walk strangely, authorities said Tuesday.

The Russian was arrested at a customs post in Siberia after officials noticed she was nervous and acted suspiciously, said Marina Boiko, a spokesman for regional customs authorities.

The young woman placed one foot unnaturally in front of the other, she said in a statement.

A search led to the discovery of eight gold pieces weighing a total of almost 1.9 kg (4.2 pounds).

The ingots had been attached to the insoles of their shoes with duct tape, the statement said, adding that the value of the finding is estimated at more than 5 million rubles (USD 79,000).

The bars were made illegally and lacked the necessary documents.

The authorities opened a criminal case, saying that the woman had tried to take out the gold at the request of a Chinese citizen.

Since the beginning of the year, officials have repeatedly arrested Russians trying to introduce gold into China, Boiko said.

In August, a Russian woman was caught wearing 10 gold bars in her shoes. It is widespread in Siberia.

At least 17 people died during the collapse of a dam in an artisanal gold mine in Siberia last month.