Doctors Find Pound of Gold in Patient's Stomach Smuggler in India swallowed 12 small bars, then didn't feel well By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Apr 19, 2014 11:11 AM CDT 38 comments Comments (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The patient exhibited symptoms of "acute intestinal obstruction." And it turns out they were caused by something he ate. Pretty routine stuff, until doctors in India discovered that what he had eaten was a pound of gold, reports the BBC. The 63-year-old businessman is believed to have swallowed 12 small gold bars while in Singapore so he could smuggle them into India, reports the AAP. That part worked fine, but the bars got lodged in his small intestine, and no amount of laxatives would budge them. That's when he went to see a doctor. "This is the first time I have recovered gold from the stomach of a patient," says a surgeon at a New Delhi hospital. "It was a tedious three-hour-long operation. He is an old patient and we had to be careful. We found 12 gold bars lying in a stack in his stomach." The gold was worth about $20,000, but customs officials have confiscated it all. Gold smuggling is on the rise in India thanks to recent tax hike on imports, and this guy isn't the only one to get creative.