$1m gold found hidden in aeroplane toilet

Gold bars

A team of cleaners in India were cleaning a plane on Tuesday when they stumbled across 24 gold bars hidden in the toilet. It's thought that they foiled an attempt to smuggle the gold into the country.

So is this the oddest smuggling discovery of recent years?
The Jet Airways plane was being cleaned at Kolkata airport after a domestic flight from Patna. It had previously been used on international routes, and according to the Guardian the gold is likely to have come from Dubai.

The airport told the Associated Press that the cleaning staff were going through their usual cleaning routine when they discovered two bags of gold in the plane toilets. The Times of India has estimated the value of the gold at $1.1 million.

The Daily Telegraph reported that no-one had claimed the gold, and no arrests had been made.

It's thought that the cleaners foiled a smuggling attempt. Apparently gold smuggling is on the increase, because the government has hiked import duties to 10% in an effort to curb demand and narrow its deficit. This is the fifth gold-smuggling incident in the past month at the airport.

The world of smuggling is a strange one, so stories get even odder than this.

Weird animals

Last week a man was caught trying to smuggle 121 pythons into Shanghai in his luggage. They were in individual plastic boxes and wrapped in black stockings.

In April 2010 a man was arrested at Los Angeles airport for trying to smuggle live songbirds into the country. They had been wrapped in cloth and tied to his legs under his trousers. He was only spotted because of the bird droppings on his shoes.

There were also reports of a man who trued to smuggle a turtle into Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in China. It was disguised as a burger inside a KFC box - between two buns.

Strange drugs

In August this year Colombian police found more than a tonne of cocaine hidden inside a shipment of fake plastic limes.

In May they stopped three women disguised as nuns, with more than six kilos of cocaine hidden under their habits.

Meanwhile two women have been accused of trying to smuggle cocaine into the US from Guyana in their hair.

The 10 richest people on the planet
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$1m gold found hidden in aeroplane toilet
The richest man in the world is Bill Gates, with a fortune of $72.9 billion - up 16.2% in a year. His fortune is all the more impressive when you add in the fact that he has given away $28 billion - most of it to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Microsoft is now just a fifth of his fortune.
The Mexican telecoms magnate is still sitting on an incredible fortune of $65.5 billion - but this is actually $9.7 billion less than last December. He held the top spot for three years until it was regained by Gates, and now has interests ranging from mining to real estate - and even a stake in the New York Times.
The Spanish retail guru behind Zara is worth $61.9 billion - made from his 60% stake in the business. His company now also owns Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Pull and Bear.
The Investment genius known as the Sage of Omaha is now worth $58.2 billion. He still has no plans to retire at the age of 83. Last year he made $12.5 billion, and bought Heinz.
The man behind the Ikea brand is worth $50.3 billion. This finding differs dramatically from the net worth estimated by Forbes - who say that he demonstrated in 2011 that the majority of his economic stake had been transferred beyond his control decades ago and put his worth at $3.3 billion.
Their fortune (of $45.2 billion each) comes from the family business, Koch Industries (the second biggest company in the US), where Charles is CEO and David Executive Vice President. Both brothers invest 90% of everything they make into the business.

The technology firm Oracle has made its founder $41 billion. He is enjoying his money, investing in properties and his America's Cup team. He has also started donating enormous sums of money to his own medical foundation - which is working on reversing the effects of ageing.

The family behind the Wal-Mart brand has profited enormously, with Christy (daughter-in-law of founder Sam) worth $36.5 billion and Jim (son of the founder and pictured) worth $35.1 billion. Christy became the richest woman in the world after the death of her husband in a plane crash in 2005.

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