GO
Loading...

$1.2 million in gold bars found stashed in Boeing 737's bathroom

Alexander Smith
Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 | 10:38 AM ET
File photo: One-kilogram bars of gold.
Dario Pignatelli | Bloomberg | Getty Images
File photo: One-kilogram bars of gold.

A hidden stash of gold bars worth $1.2 million was found in a commercial jet's bathroom on Tuesday, according to officials in India.

An aircraft maintenance crew found the 24 gold bars in two bags aboard a Jet Airways Boeing 737 while they performed routine end-of-day checks at Kolkata, India, airport.

"It was quite a surprise," airport director BP Sharma told NBC News. "The bars were packed in bags so we did not immediately know what it was. The bags were inspected and found to be gold."

The flight had traveled from Mumbai to Thailand's capital Bangkok, before returning to Kolkata for the night.

More from NBC News:
India digs for $40 billion gold bonanza based on holy man's dreams
White supremacist who killed blacks and Jews is put to death in Missouri
An inside job: CIA a suspect for some in JFK's killing

Why it might not be worth going to India
Anand P. Raman, editor at the Harvard Business review, talks about India and says it might not be worth it for international companies to move there due to widespread corruption.

Sharma said the bars weigh 53 pounds in total and appeared to have originated in the United Arab Emirates. They were found in a compartment in the bathroom.

While this is the first time gold bars have been found on a plane at the airport, security checks have in the past caught people trying to smuggle gold onto aircraft in their hand luggage, the airport director said.

A customs official told NBC News that an investigation had been launched but no arrests had been made.

India has traditionally been the world's largest importer of gold, although that title is being threatened this year by China.

Much of India's vast gold consumption is hoarded or offered to the gods.

(Watch: Why India is really launching Mars mission)

Featured

Contact Asia News

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More

Asia Video