PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - More than 100kg of gold bars allegedly brought from Malaysia was confiscated by customs officials at the Kansai International Airport in Osaka in April, a Japanese news portal reported.
According to Japan Today, officials were said to have found the gold bars worth over 500 million yen (S$6.12 million) hidden under the clothing of 10 Malaysians who had arrived at the airport from the country.
The Malaysians reportedly walked through the required customs declaration procedures without declaring the gold bars.
The case is being investigated as a suspected violation of the customs and consumption tax laws.
According to the news portal, 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 reported since then 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.