Custom officials at the Visakhapatnam Airport have detained three passengers who arrived from Kuala Lumpur in an Air Asia flight on Saturday night, stating that they confessed to have tried to smuggle gold by swallowing some sachets. According to media reports, customs officials recovered 80 grams of gold worth Rs 2.33 lakh from their rectum later.
The officials said that the trio, identified as Azharuddin, Abdullah and Nayeem, were questioned as they were behaving in a suspicious manner. All the accused were said to be natives of Tamil Nadu and were reportedly planning to smuggle the gold to Chennai.
After being detained, the accused were sent to the state-run King George Hospital (KGH) in the city, so that doctors could extract the gold from their bodies.
Speaking to the local media, a doctor at KGH said, "After the customs officials brought them here at around 5 pm, we admitted them to the hospital and conducted some basic tests to find out if they had ingested the gold. All three of them were examined."
Doctors said that the gold was later extracted after giving the accused some laxatives.
While smugglers would earlier attempt to sneak the gold in using shoes, electronic gadgets and other such objects, authorities have said that more attempts were being made to smuggle the gold in the abdomen or rectums of passengers.
Recently, attempts to smuggle gold disguised as paste, is also on the rise.
In September this year, officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) said that they seized 1,269 grams of gold, valued at around Rs 40 lakh, from a passenger at the Rajahmundry airport in Andhra Pradesh. The gold was said to be smuggled from Sri Lanka. Based on intelligence inputs, personnel from the Kakinada office of the DRI waited and intercepted a passenger who arrived from Hyderabad, on a flight on September 14.
Officials said that the accused was found to be carrying the gold in a paste form and had concealed it in his innerwear.