Customs officials at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Dum Dum resorted to laxatives to retrieve 11 gold biscuits worth more than Rs 35 lakh from a Bangladesh national.
Mushir Ahmed, who came from Kuala Lumpur by an Air Asia flight on Thursday night, was detained while he was waiting near the conveyor belt to collect his checked-in baggage after clearing immigration by an official of the air intelligence unit.
“He appeared tense. We approached him and after interrogation that lasted for barely a couple of minutes, we were definite something was wrong,” a customs official said.
Ahmed was taken inside the detention room and the metal detector corroborated that there was some metal inside his stomach. But he kept insisting there was a problem with the machine.
“For the next three or four hours, we gave him a laxative and asked him to consume water at regular intervals. At dawn, he went to relieve himself and the gold biscuits emerged,” a customs official said.
“Each of these biscuits weighs 100 gm. Altogether, we seized 1.1 kg of gold with a market price of Rs 34.52 lakh,” another official said.
Officials investigating the case said Ahmed is a supplier and was carrying the biscuits from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata. In the city, he was scheduled to check in at a hotel off Marquis Street near central Kolkata.
In the last few years, Kolkata airport has turned into a gateway for gold smugglers in India. Gold is mostly smuggled from west Asia and southeast Asian countries to India through the airport.
Customs have seized huge consignments of gold at the airport on several occasions in the past.
In the biggest haul, about 24 kg gold worth more than Rs 7 crore was held in the February 2014 lying unclaimed in an empty aircraft.