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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 13 December 2018

Sri Lanka arrests man with kilo of gold in his rear

Officials were alerted when the 45-year-old Sri Lankan behaved "suspiciously" at Colombo airport's departure lounge

Sri Lanka customs arrested an India-bound air passenger attempting with "difficulty" to smuggle nearly one kilogram of gold stuffed in his rectum.

Officials were alerted when the 45-year-old Sri Lankan behaved "suspiciously" at Colombo airport's departure lounge on Sunday, spokesman Sunil Jayaratne said on Monday.

"He was called for a thorough screening after customs officers noticed him walking with difficulty and appearing to be in pain," Mr Jayaratne said.

He said a close examination revealed the gold wrapped in black plastic sheets.

Among the 904 grams of gold recovered were seven yellow "biscuits" and six chains. The haul was valued at 4.5 million rupees (Dh108,000).

Mr Jayaratne said the contraband was seized and the man was fined 100,000 rupees. He described him as a courier for an organised smuggling ring.

Sri Lanka allows passengers leaving the island to carry a reasonable quantity of personal jewellery. It also allows imports of precious metals at a low tax.

Smuggling is usually carried out as part of money-laundering schemes or to transfer proceeds from drug sales, Mr Jayaratne said.