Bone with gold: Smuggler is caught with two pounds of gold paste hidden in his rectum at Indian airport after customs x-ray
- Mule, locally referred to as Mohammad Sharif, stopped at Imphal . airport on Monday
- It was taken for an X-ray that revealed four capsules filled with gold paste
- The 1.98 pound gold was valued at £42,000
- Gold smuggling is big business, peaking in the months leading up to the wedding season
A smuggler who hid two pounds of gold paste worth £42,000 in his rectum has been arrested at an Indian airport after it appeared on an X-ray.
The mule, known locally as Mohammad Sharif, was stopped Monday by a security official who noticed his “suspicious movement” at Imphal airport in the northeastern state of Manipur.
Sharif, who was on his way to New Delhi, was taken for questioning but “could not answer satisfactorily,” the Central Industrial Security Force said in a press release.
His pot of gold was discovered when he was taken for an x-ray that revealed: four capsules filled with gold paste weighing 1.98 pounds.
The mule, locally called Mohammad Sharif, had four capsules of gold paste worth £42,000 in his rectum
An X-ray of the suspect’s lower half revealed the precious metal hidden in his rectum
India is the world’s second largest consumer of gold and experts say smuggling has increased in recent years, including by converting the precious metal into paste form.
Smugglers have gotten more creative of late, with authorities discovering gold bars sewn into clothing or hidden in oral cavities, and some using wheelchairs to hide their illegal cargo.
In August, customs officials seized £100,000 worth of gold hidden in a loudspeaker at Cochina International Airport.
A Kannur resident had attempted to smuggle the gold through customs on his return from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Last month, officials at Kannur airport discovered £14,000 worth of gold paste a passenger had applied to the inner layer of his trousers to avoid detection.
Demand for gold peaks in the final months of the year in India as the wedding season gets underway and preparations are made for the major Hindu festivals of Diwali and Dussehra.
Manipur borders Bangladesh, which experts say has become a major route for smuggling precious metals into India.
In August, the Indian Gold Policy Center said an estimated 300 tons of gold are smuggled into the country each year, leading to huge revenue losses for the government.