Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Woman Caught Smuggling Gold Bars Taped to Feet Into China


A woman in Russia’s Far East was caught with about 2 kilograms of solid gold taped to the bottoms of her feet as she attempted to cross the border into China.

The unnamed woman was visibly nervous and walking unnaturally toward the security checkpoint when a customs inspector at the Zabaikalsk border crossing spotted her, the Far Eastern Customs Administration said in a statement Tuesday. As she walked through the metal detector, inspectors discovered eight gold bars weighing a total of 1,864 grams taped to the woman’s feet. 

An expert told the customs service that the gold bars were likely produced by hand and worth 5 million rubles (about $8,000).

The woman said that a Chinese citizen had convinced her to smuggle the gold for a cash reward. Authorities have opened a criminal case against the suspect, and she now faces up to seven years in prison on charges of illegal movement of strategic goods and resources.

The customs service added that Russian nationals have repeatedly tried to smuggle gold into China this year. In August, a woman tried to haul 10 golden bars under the insoles of her sneakers. 

It’s far from the only creative crime to come from Russia in recent years. Two suspects were detained in 2018 two suspects reportedly attempting to use a cat to smuggle drugs into a prison, but in mid-October the cat managed to escape. 

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.