1 kg GOLD found in RECTUM, man arrested

Colombo, Sep 25 : Sri Lanka's airport police have arrested a man for allegedly trying to smuggle gold articles weighing one kilogram hidden in his rectum, an official said on Monday. The 45-year-old Sri Lankan man was arrested on Sunday at the Bandaranaike International Airport near Colombo as he was about to depart to India, said Sri Lankan customs' media spokesperson Sunil Jayarathna. Customs officers found four small gold bars and eight jewellery pieces, two of them in white gold, inside the suspect's rectal cavity, Efe news reported. The spokesperson said that despite the unusual choice of concealment, it had become an increasingly common way of smuggling gold to India. "There are various methods and hiding the contraband in the smuggler's body has become common over the years," said Jayarathna. He said that the man was released after paying a $660 fine. Sri Lanka's customs authorities have, so far, detected 44 similar incidents in 2017. Gold often arrives from Dubai or Singapore, where it is cheap to purchase, and then it is either sold in the local market or in neighbouring India.  Smugglers in the region buy gold in places like Dubai and Singapore, where it is relatively cheap, and then bring it to sell it in the local market or in neighbouring India at a profit. A customs officer told BBC Sinhala they spotted the man because "he was walking suspiciously". Metal detectors then identified the hidden luggage, "carefully packed in polythene bags and neatly inserted", according to a custom officer. Last week a Sri Lankan female, also travelling to India, was caught by customs while trying to smuggle 314.5 grams of gold pieces concealed in her rectum. IANS