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Published April 22, 2014, 02:16 PM

Indian man swallows bellyfull of gold to avoid duty fee (w/ video)

New Delhi, India (CNN) - You've heard of people described as having hearts of gold - but what about someone with a bellyfull of the precious metal? That's what doctors in New Delhi found, when a man arrived from overseas in severe discomfort.

By: Amir Daftari, CNN, CNN

New Delhi, India (CNN) - You've heard of people described as having hearts of gold - but what about someone with a bellyfull of the precious metal? That's what doctors in New Delhi found, when a man arrived from overseas in severe discomfort.

A warning here -- some of what you'll see next, may upset your stomach.

The smuggler's apparent attempt to evade taxes did not have a glittering end.

Gold - the metal most precious to the population of India, a symbol of wealth, power and beauty. But it's not so pretty now, is it?

Yes - This is what the process of removing twelve gold bars from the stomach of a 63-year-old looks like. Each of the objects weighs 33 grams, which might not sound much. But each is valuable not just to the owner but to the Indian government.

In total they'd command an import duty of $17,000, and it's little wonder some people would go to extreme lengths to try to avoid that. This suspected smuggler visited a New Delhi hospital after arriving from abroad this month. Doctors say he complained of severe stomach pain and nausea, claiming to have swallowed the cap of a plastic bottle.

But what medics found when they were forced to operate was rather more pricey - and presumably more painful. The gold bars are now in police care, and the patient is under investigation for tax evasion - which certainly takes the shine off his import experiment.

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