Five persons travelling to Calcutta on different flights were caught on arrival at the airport on Tuesday with gold worth Rs 84 lakh concealed in ways that could inspire a handbook for smugglers.
One of the accused had hidden gold bars inside the soles of his slippers while another was found carrying a large quantity of gold chains in a lady's purse. Two others had concealed gold bars the old-fashioned (and painful) way: in the rectum.
Two of the five passengers were arrested and cases filed against the other three.
Customs officials said Sheikh Amirul, a resident of Kamarhati in North 24-Parganas, had arrived from Bangkok on a Thai Airways flight with 317gm of gold stashed inside the soles of the slippers he was wearing.
There were as may as 32 strips of gold in the cavities of the soles.
Sonu Sahani, who lives in a building on Park Street, arrived from Bangkok on a SpiceJet flight and was caught with gold chains weighing 363gm concealed in a purse. "A man carrying a lady's purse would always attract attention," a Customs official said.
A third passenger, Kamlesh Varma, was caught with 490gm of gold hidden inside his shoes. He had arrived from Dhaka on a Regent Airways flight.
In the domestic wing of the integrated terminal, Budge Budge resident Hari Prasad Barma was intercepted on arrival from Imphal on an IndiGo flight. Central Calcutta resident Udai Shankar Rai, was stopped moments after stepping out of an IndiGo flight from Guwahati, and taken for a body search that revealed gold hidden in the rectum.
Customs officials said they had information that two passengers would arrive from the Northeast with smuggled gold. "Both Barma and Rai were limping. They had concealed a kilo of gold each in the rectum," an officer said.