In a stomach-churning incident coming from Chennai, 8 smugglers were caught by Chennai Air Customs for swallowing and carrying gold worth Rs. 2.17 crore which weighed around 4.15 kg. The eight amongst each other had swallowed 161 capsules of gold paste wrapped in rubber with each capsule of size 1.1 cm to 1.7 cm weighing about 15-25 gm.    

The airport customs officials routinely come across smugglers that hide gold paste wrapped in rubber in their rectums. But the smugglers that Chennai customs caught had swallowed the gold paste. These passengers had arrived from Dubai and Sharjah on 22nd February. Custom officials were tipped off by the Air Intelligence Unit officers and acted swiftly by confronting the smugglers.  

On further interrogation, the smugglers admitted to the fact that they were smuggling gold paste capsules in their stomachs. They also spilled the beans and said how they swallowed the gold paste capsules before their departure.  

The smugglers were then admitted to Stanley Government hospital in Chennai by authorities after a formal request was raised to recover the capsules. It took around 8 days for the authorities to recover the 4.15 kg of gold that’s valued at Rs. 2. 17 crores. 

The Commissioner of Customs Raja Choudhry in his press release said, “The process of recovery was cumbersome as the passengers were fed with a heavy diet to facilitate ejection of the capsules of gold in a natural way.” Overall, a total of 161 capsules weighing 4.15 kg and valued at Rs 2.17 crore were recovered from the stomach of all 8 passengers, the Customs department said. 

In its press release, Chennai customs informed: “Total 4.15 kilograms of gold valued at Rs 2.17 crore were seized under Customs Act from eight passengers. Seven arrested.” 

Additionally, the release also said, “Further, 8 bundles containing 61 capsules weighing 18 kg gold and valued at Rs 51.36 lakhs were also recovered. In addition, 3 gold chains, 8 gold bits, 8 gold rings, 2 bundles of gold paste totally valued at Rs 30.64 lakhs were recovered from handbags and pant pockets.”