Thief in India Swallows Gold
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Thief in India Swallows Gold

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Thief in India Swallows Gold

Let's be clear about this: You shouldn't eat gold.

Don't eat gold. Ever. Just don't. It's that simple. Not only is it hazardous for your health, but it's a very stupid thing to do with your gold! It would be like using diamonds as mulch in your front yard (except more painful).

Of course, during the commission of a crime, this type of common sense often goes out the window.

Suffering the Consequences

There is a fairly regular flow of news stories from India that involve someone smuggling gold into the country. It's a rather common occurrence due to the country's restrictive laws on gold ownership coupled with the Indian public's voracious appetite for gold.

So it's fair to say that this is not the first such incident in India where, out of desperation, someone decided to swallow some gold. Similar circumstances have been reported at Indian airports, which are the entry points for most gold smuggling.

Sometimes, resolving the situation requires some minimally invasive surgery to remove the gold. This bizarre scenario comes up often enough, however, that authorities have turned to a more organic method for retrieving the gold.

The "Banana Diet"

The India Business Times recently reported on another case where someone consumed gold, which was then surgically removed from their stomach. In this case, the man and an accomplice had stolen gold jewelry from a woman in Madhya Pradesh. One wonders how smoothly the gold ornaments went down.

The prospect of stomach surgery is seen as a deterrent against thieves trying to evade detection by eating gold or other valuables.

If this seems somewhat gruesome, there is a less direct—but no less gruesome—method that police in India have employed in other cases of swallowed gold.

Rather than extracting the metals themselves, law enforcement has chosen a more natural method in some past cases. It has been referred to as the "banana diet" method. One arrested thief was fed 96 bananas over a two-day period, and the gold passed through his system passively and was recovered.

This confirms that such a strategy doesn't only apply to pets in India!

The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.

About the Author

Everett Millman

Everett Millman

Analyst, Commodities and Finance
Managing Editor

Everett has been the head content writer and market analyst at Gainesville Coins since 2013. He has a background in History and is deeply interested in how gold and silver have historically fit into the financial system.

In addition to blogging, Everett's work has been featured in CoinWeek, Advisor Perspectives, Wealth Management, Activist Post, and has been referenced by the Washington Post.

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