Cash-strapped woman caught

National, Normal

A WOMAN of Asian origin was caught trying to smuggle A$19,000 out of the country by taping the notes around her legs.
The middle-aged woman was caught at the Jackson Airport in Port Moresby on Nov 17 as she tried to get past security to board an Air Niugini flight to Singapore.
Customs officials said the woman hid the money by folding the notes and taping them around her legs. She then pulled larger socks over her legs to conceal the money. She appeared as if she was wearing thick stockings.
As she passed through the security scanner, guards at the international terminal checkpoint became suspicious and alerted Customs officials, who pulled her aside and searched
She sat down and they asked her to pull down the socks she was wearing. She did, and revealed the money taped to her legs.
Customs and security guards were perplexed and asked why she did that when she could easily have taken the money through by declaring it.
Communication was hampered because she could speak little English, Customs officials said. The woman was going to Hong Kong through Singapore, officials said.
Her passport and the cash, the equivalent of K43,000, were seized by Customs, who are continuing their investigations with plans to charge her. She was not allowed to leave and remains in the country.
PNG Customs boss Gary Juffa praised his men and women and security at the airport for being vigilant.
Juffa said with the prevalence of transnational crime in the country and the region, his officers would get tough on people who breach ed immigrations and customs laws.