When people go through the airport, their first initial thoughts are “what should I bring with me?” Often people are worried about their carry-on being too heavy or not fitting in the overhead bin. However, to some, the necessities for air travel look a little different. Especially to this Indian man, who will indefinitely remain nameless, that had stowed seven gold bars up his bum during his travels from Dubai to Kerala. No, we’re not making this up.
This individual was caught as he was reportedly seen walking awkwardly through the airport. Once they took the man into custody, they couldn’t believe the reason why this man was walking so funny. To their surprise, they had found about a kilogram worth of gold hidden inside the man’s rectum. Seven gold bars placed inside your butt while you travel cannot be comfortable in the slightest- and that’s putting it mildly (1)
Why Did He Place Seven Gold Bars Up There?
The speculation surrounding this story is that the man was trying to avoid a gold tax. Apparently, there is an 18% tax on gold in Kerala for the amount of gold that he was planning on bringing with him. He was planning on avoiding this tax on gold by smuggling the gold bars in and out of the airport as discretely as possible. Much to his demise, he was caught and was forced to pay the tariff anyways despite his best efforts.
This isn’t the first time that these airlines have had this happened. There have been numerous reports of people trying to smuggle gold in various ways other than placing it in awkward areas. However, this person in this story isn’t the only one that feels like the gold tax is unfair. There has been an ongoing debate about how the tax on gold should be changed in Kerala. (2)
There’s A Tax On Gold?
According to the Kerala jewelers’ association, this tax on gold has been a dilemma for a while. In fact, the association wants the state minister to help fix gold tax at 1.25% with the new GST regime. The All India Gems and Jewelry Trade Federation has also suggested to the GST to keep the gold tax at a fixed 1.25%. While the India Bullion & Jewelers Association is expecting this rate to increase to 8%. Since this won’t be decided until the next fiscal, a lot of gold merchants are worried that they will end up paying compound taxes for the whole year. (2)
The finance ministry had claimed earlier that the GST tax slabs would be placed at 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28%. However, the tax on jewelry as well as bullions would not be related to this tax slab. This is mostly because the state-levied tax on gold jewelry is entirely dependent on where you’re at in India, as it varies from place to place. To give you an idea of what this means, the southern states of India account for 40-60% of gold consumption in India. Meanwhile, Kerala has a VAT (Value Added Tax) of 5% on gold jewelry with taxes from gold which amounts up to Rs. 400 crores annually. (3)
In light of this, minister Thomas Isaac wants the tax for gold to be at 4%. His reasoning for this is so that the state does not see any shortfalls in revenue generation in the years to come. However, this will all be decided on February 18th. (2)
Is It Worth Smuggling Seven Gold Bars Up Your Bum?
You would have to be very desperate to want to smuggle that amount of gold inside your body. Obviously, the man who smuggled the seven gold bars still got some of the value back even with the tax. However, he still would’ve gotten more if he hadn’t got caught at the airport. As mentioned before, people have tried smuggling gold in multiple different ways. Most of the time it’s a petty amount of gold that’s easily concealable. Something like a tube of toothpaste, a box of chocolates, inside of a pen, and even going as far as lining their underwear with gold to sneak it in.
Although it may seem very tempting to try to smuggle something into the airport such as gold, it would be wise to reconsider. There’s tons of security at the airport and your journey might end like the man in this story.
We definitely do not condone you trying to smuggle things into the airport, especially inside your bottom. Tax evasion is a crime and you should try to be honest when it comes to your taxes. There are a lot of people that have tried evading taxes that eventually came back to haunt them years later.
Take for instance this man that was taxed for the diamond he found while hiking. There’s always somebody wanting the precious treasures you have. Nobody gets a free piece of gold without paying for it first.
- ‘Man Stopped In Airport With More Than A Kilogram Of Gold Up His Bum’ Lad Bible Tom Wood. Published October 16, 2020.
- ‘Kerala jewellers association pushes for uniform gold tax under GST’ Clear Tax Published January 4, 2020.
- ‘About VAT in India’ Avalara. Published January 27, 2017.
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