Indian surgeon C.S. Ramsachandran said he was expecting to find a plastic bottle cap claimed to be lodged in the stomach of a 63-year old businessman only to find 12 gold bars, weighing about 1 lb in the man’s lower intestine instead.
According to staff at the New Delhi hospital, the man had come in complaining of severe stomach pain and vomiting after “accidentally swallowing the cap.” He later admitted that he had swallowed the gold (valued at $20,000) during a recent trip to Singapore in order to avoid paying import taxes upon returning to India. While he expected to “pass” the stash with the help of laxatives and hot tea, the heavy metal got stuck in his gut, where it remained for nearly 10 days until he went to the emergency room.
Ramsachandran stated that if they had not operated when they did the unnamed patient “might have suffered septicemia, severe bleeding and the possible rupture of the intestine.” As it was the man was at high risk during the surgery since he is diabetic and had previously undergone several major operations to remove his gall bladder and appendix among others.”He is very lucky to be alive,” commented the surgeon.
In the meantime, the hospital turned to gold over to police and Indian customs officials have begun an investigation into how the man was able to evade security measures at the airport.