PETALING JAYA • Customs officials at the Kansai International Airport in Osaka seized more than 100kg of gold bars brought in from Malaysia in April, reported Japanese news agency Kyodo.
According to the report, officials found the gold bars worth over 500 million yen (S$6.1 million) hidden under the clothing of 10 Malaysians who had flown into the airport from Malaysia.
None of them went through the required Customs declaration procedures, and Customs officials are investigating the case as a suspected violation of Japan's Customs and consumption tax laws.
The news agency reported that gold smuggling has been on the rise since Japan's consumption tax was raised from 5 per cent to 8 per cent in April 2014. It said many gold- smuggling cases involved passengers arriving on flights from airports in Hong Kong and South Korea. It added that investigative sources say smugglers may be exploring new routes, including from Malaysia.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK