FUKUOKA (TR) – Four Korean nationals apprehended last month with more than 700 million yen in cash at an airport last month have been prosecuted for customs violations, a case that authorities believe is connected to a robbery, reports the Sankei Shimbun(May 11).
According to the Moji Branch of Japan Customs at Fukuoka Airport, the men were found at an airport security check point with four carry-on suitcases, each tightly packed with between 180 million and 190 million yen in cash, at around 6:00 p.m. on April 20.
The four men were subsequently charged with violating the Customs Law. They were sent to the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday on suspicion of unauthorized removal of cash from the country, the first case of its kind in the nation, according to Japan Customs.
According to the Customs Law, a document must be filed for the removal of more than 1 million yen in cash from the country. In this case, the amount totaled 735 million yen.
The customs branch believes the suspects are connected to a robbery that took place about six hours before the men were stopped at the airport. Two persons sprayed the victim, a 29-year-old male company employee from Tokyo’s Adachi Ward, with tear gas in a parking lot in front of a branch of Mizuho Bank located in the Tenjin area of Chuo Ward before snatching 384 million yen in cash.
On April 19, the four suspects arrived Kansai International Airport via a flight from Incheon International Airport in Korea. At least two of the suspects then took the Shinkansen bullet train to Fukuoka.
The suspects initially said that the money had been entrusted to them by another man for the purchase of luxury automobiles. However, they now are declining to comment on the allegations.
The Moji Branch of Japan Customs at Fukuoka Airport did not reveal why it believes the two cases are connected, only saying that it is investigating how the route for how the four suspects obtained the cash.