The authorities in Sri Lanka today proudly announced the arrest of a man who had tried to smuggle 1kg of gold and jewelry in his rectum.
According to the arresting customs officer, he singled out the man because "he was walking suspiciously"
The 45-year-old was making his way to India (where gold is highly popular) and stopped at Colombo international airport in Sri Lanka.
Given that gold in India is used for all bridal occasions, the price paid for it is higher than in surrounding countries, meaning smugglers will buy it in Dubai or Singapore and then try to smuggle it over the border with India to make a profit.
The smuggler, who probably wrecked his rectum, might now make a profit in prison because of his wrecked rectum in fact.
There have been similar cases in the past. Indians are famously hoarding gold as they believe it brings financial security. Even though this chap was arrested, it is believed that up to 700 kilograms of gold reach India illegally every day (in a similar manner, but let’s hope for the gents in India not all literally just like that though).
Konal Doshi, of the Gems and Jewellers protection council: "This is unprecedented and unbelievable. A new industry has emerged in India - it is a very dangerous situation."
Smugglers are finding innovative ways to try and bypass customs. Every few weeks a new fad shows up. Gold has been melted to look like salted chips, like dates from Dubai or ground to a fine dust and mixed with other metals to look like or. Even hand painted belt buckles or torch batteries have been tried.
Indian economist Surjit Bhalla explains: "The move to increase import duty is not working. In India, everyone - even the poorest of the poor - invests in gold. This move can only work if all the smuggled gold is confiscated by the regulators."