Gold bars were found in the lavatory of a Jet Airways aircraft in Kolkata India on Tuesday. Cleaners came upon two pouches in a toilet aboard the aircraft. The pouches were initially believed to be dangerous materials, but upon further inspection, they were discovered to be carrying 12 gold bars a piece. The gold bars were a surprise to the workers who discovered the find worth upwards of $1 Million in the airplane toilet.
India and China have demonstrated a voracious appetite for the precious metal recently. China has its own reasons for gobbling up all of the gold it can afford. Reasons which speculators suggest may have to do with reducing its economic exposure to the dollar. India however has started to resemble China in its demand for the precious metal.
India, to the dismay of the US, was at one point using gold to purchase Iranian oil regardless of US-sponsored sanctions against Iran. As of late, India has made an effort to be more compliant with the UN position toward Iran. As an outgrowth, India has tried recently to curb oil imports from Iran, and has also raised import duties on gold in an effort to reduce domestic demand for the metal.
In a response to these actions, India has seen a rise in the smuggling of gold into the country. This latest discovery of treasure in a toilet seems to be related to smuggling activity as no one has yet come forward and claimed the gold.
It will be interesting to see whether the gold smuggling trend continues to rise in India as the nation moves to comply more with the wishes of organizations such as the UN and World Gold Council in reducing its domestic demand for gold, along with its approach to oil imports. For now the gold bars found by workers, worth $1.2 Million may incentivize other airline workers in India to take one more peek when cleaning airplane toilets. It might be a cleaning run that makes them rich.
By Daniel Worku