TOKYO (TR) – As a part of an ongoing investigation into the smuggling of gold into Japan, police in Tokyo and Okinawa Prefecture have arrested another organized crime member and determined that the suspects committed the same crime dozens of times, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 7).
Police apprehended Kodai Seto, a 32-year-old member of the Inagawa-kai, for participating in the scheme to smuggle 112 kilograms of gold — valued at 480 million yen — from Macau to Naha Airport in Okinawa inside a private jet on December 14.
Seto, who has been charged with violating customs and tax laws, has declined to comment on the charges.
Last month, police apprehended fellow gang members Toshiyuki Matsuda and Hiroaki Izumi, both of whom are 44 years old.
According to police, the suspects have committed similar smuggling operations between Hong Kong or Macau and Japan on more than 30 occasions since June of last year.
A customs inspector found the gold, which had been packed in four suitcases, in a cargo hold of the aircraft. Since the gold was not declared with customs officials, police suspect that the suspects smuggled the precious metal in order to evade paying taxes of 38 million yen.
Four other persons, including the president of an aircraft company, Junichi Nagano, 65, were also previously arrested in the case.