The two men, who had been arrested for smuggling high-end watches, had apparently undergone six-months of training in Hong Kong to understand how to conceal such items in their rectum.
Last month, the custom department at Indira Gandhi International Airport had recovered four watches worth Rs 60 lakh from the rectum of one of them.
“It is not easy to put metal items in the rectum. Earlier smugglers hid drugs, but putting metal items inside the body is not only dangerous but also requires training. During interrogation, the duo revealed that in the last year they had travelled over 10 times and smuggled in watches worth Rs 10 crore,” said a custom department official, requesting anonymity.
Abdul Majeed Mohammed Ghouse, a resident of Trombay, Mumbai was stopped after he landed from a Hong Kong flight and was subjected to a more systematic search. “Officials found him wearing a Rolex watch. Nothing incriminating was found in his baggage but a metal detector swipe indicated the presence of metal in his rectum,” he added.
Officials revealed that during their training, they started by hiding smaller items. The training was done in the presence of a doctor so that in case of an emergency, their lives could be saved. “Later, they carried out several dummy-runs before the actual process,” he said.
“They separated the dial from the strap. They packed four watches and put 250gm of butter over it after three layers. Then they put it in the rectum,” the officer added.
Custom officials said the carrier in such cases didn’t have any food during the journey.
“Ghouse was detained and given food, tea, coffee and hot-water with salt at regular intervals in the presence of a doctor. After about 12 hours, he eased out four watches and metallic straps wrapped in two plastic bags,” he further said.
This modus operandi has forced the custom department to revamp the working of the intelligence department.