Surgeons in Delhi have found 12 small gold bars inside a man complaining of pain in his gut, a news report says.
The 63-year-old businessman swallowed the 33 gram bars, known as gold biscuits, in Singapore and arrived in India on March 28, the Times of India reported on Friday.
But he was unable to recover them after they lodged in his small intestine, despite drinking lots of water and taking laxatives.
On April 7, the man requested surgery saying he had swallowed a water bottle cap and it was hurting.
He went into surgery on April 9 after X-rays confirmed the presence of foreign metal. When doctors unexpectedly struck gold, they informed the police and customs department.
Customs officials impounded the bullion, worth an estimated 1.2 million rupees ($A21,289.01), and the businessman was taken into police custody on Tuesday.
"He is a wealthy man with a good business in Chandni Chowk," said CS Ramachandran, the doctor who treated him.
"It is both surprising and shocking to know that he could do something like this."
There has been a spike in gold smuggling since the government imposed a 10 per cent duty on gold bullion imports in April, up from eight per cent.