It evidently was a gut check which was — or wasn’t — golden.
A businessman in India who checked in to the hospital for a bad stomach ache apparently had 12 gold bars in his abdomen.
The man, 63, allegedly had smuggled about $20,000 worth of gold from Singapore to India about 10 days previous by swallowing the bars to get passed airport customs.
The caper didn’t turn out as expected because he needed to seek sought medical help for vomiting and constipation. “The plan, however, got ‘stuck’ as the man could not pass the bullion through his stool. He tried everything from drinking lots of fluid to using laxatives but the [gold] biscuits stayed in the small intestine, causing pain.”
The man’s cover story was that he had accidentally swallowed a water bottle cap after an argument with his wife.
He wound up in surgery for about two or three hours, during which doctors discovered the small gold bars, each weighing about 33 grams, in the back of his stomach.
According to a senior surgeon at the hospital in Delhi, “This is the first time I have recovered gold from the stomach of a patient. I remember having taken out a bladder stone weighing 1 kg from a patient. But finding gold in a patient’s stomach was something unbelievable.” The doctor added that the same patient had previously gone under the knife for appendicitis, the removal of his gallbladder, and a hernia. “But I am at least happy that I could save his life. If it would have stayed inside for couple of more days, it would have led to severe bleeding and rapture of the intestine and septicemia. Moreover, he had severe diabetes.”
Gold smuggling has increased in India — which uses more gold than any other country — after the government hiked the gold import tax to cut down on demand. Smugglers usually try to hide their gold “booty” in their rectums rather than their tummies, however.
In this incident, hospital authorities notified the police and the customs department about the “man with the golden gut,” although there are no reports as to whether the he might be charged, although the gold itself has been confiscated.
[image credit: Shutterstock]