An Air India passenger was barred from boarding the plane Sunday after he was found carrying a poisonous snake in his baggage at the Cochin International Airport in the Indian state of Kerala.

Sunil [who was identified by only by his first name], a Kerala resident, was scheduled to board Air India Flight 419 for Abu Dhabi but was stopped by a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) official before he could do so.

“Sub inspector P K Mourya was watching over the screen where the contents of the hand bags were being x-rayed. He detected something that looked like a snake in the hand baggage of a passenger flying to Abu Dhabi on Air India express flight 419,” senior CISF official said about the incident, local daily Times of India reported. 

After Mourya found the image of a snake suspicious, he called for a physical check of the passenger’s baggage, following which the reptile was found.

“Constable Hridesh Kumar carefully checked the bag and found a live baby snake inside the bag which looked like an Indian Krait [a venomous snake specie], which is among the four most venomous snakes found in India. Snakes, reptiles and wildlife and prohibited in flight and carriage of such reptiles is also dangerous of civil aviation security with even the young ones being venomous. The passenger was not allowed to proceed for his 4:55 p.m. [local time, 6:25 a.m. EST] flight and handed over to the police,” the official added.

Apparently, Sunil had bought a packet Chinese potatoes from a local farmer before arriving at the airport and, unknown to the passenger, the pack contained the venomous reptile. Since the reptile was small and already present in the pack of potatoes when Sunil bought it, no criminal complaint was registered against him.

The venomous snake was not the only bizarre item discovered inside a passenger’s baggage on Sunday. CISF had a busy day intercepting rare antiques and gold bars from two separate passengers on the same day.

“Physical check of this hand bag led to discovery of 29 antiques. He neither had the bill for them, nor could he say why he was taking so many antiques out of India. Customs officials detained the passenger and the antiques,” a CISF official said about an unnamed Dubai-bound passenger’s baggage.

On the other hand, Aizwal [also identified by his first name], a passenger scheduled to fly to Kolkata, West Bengal, India, was found to carry 39 gold bars of 24 karat, weighing 6.5 kg worth INR 2.1 crore ($289,076) in the handbag.  One of the gold bars were revealed when the passenger’s bag was scanned, which prompted a physical check by the officials.

“The passenger and the gold bars were handed over to the department of revenue intelligence. This is a remarkable achievement where huge quantity of gold was recovered,” an official said.