Deepak Kumar, a resident of Ulhasnagar in Maharashtra state, was flying from Dubai to Chandigarh International Airport in Punjab. He was being monitored by authorities in Delhi, who alerted customs officials that he might be attempting to smuggle contraband into India. The officials detained Kumar and conducted a rectal cavity search, which revealed a buttload of 24-carat gold.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is now searching for the source of the gold. Kumar confessed that he works as a courier for an international gang of smugglers, one that Delhi had been investigating, and had been paid 8,000 rupees ($124) for his services. "He has already made 15 to 20 short trips to different countries in the past month and a half," they told the Tribune.
DRI officials told the Hindustan Times that the smugglers had previously used the Delhi airport as their point of entry until more stringent security measures caused them to relocate to Chandigarh.
The DRI officials added that gold smuggling from Dubai into India had become more common in recent years, as Dubai boasts a wealth of gold, which has reached new highs in value in India. This is the first case at Chandigarh airport of someone being caught using their rectum to smuggle in gold, however.
The demand for gold has hit five-year highs in India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attempt to demonetize most circulating currency has bolstered demand for alternative currency sources. On July 1, a new sales tax went into effect that increased the goods and services tax on gold from 1.2 percent to 3 percent. This has galvanized a gold black market, causing smugglers to become increasingly anal about penetrating India with gold.