AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police have arrested five women, including four Korean nationals, in the alleged smuggling of 30 kilograms of gold into the country from Korea, a crime that the suspects are believed to have committed repeatedly in the past, reports Nippon News Network (June 1).
On December 12, Naoko Ishikawa, a 59-year-old resident of Nagasaki Prefecture, Li Bangja, 66, and three other Korean nationals are alleged to have arrived at Chubu Centrair International Airport on a flight from Incheon International Airport with a total of 30 bars of gold, weighing one kilogram each, concealed around their bodies.
According to police, the gold bars, valued at around 130 million yen, were sewn into the women’s corsets and underpants. The women were sent to prosecutors on Friday.
Without claiming the precious metals with Japan Customs, the suspects were evading about 10 million yen in taxes, police said.
“I thought of it as a part-time job,” Li was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.
The gold was purchased by a person in Hong Kong and given to the suspects at the airport in Korea, police said. The women are known to have previously arrived at airports in Osaka and Fukuoka in the past, leading police to suspect that they committed the same crime repeatedly.
According to the Sankei Shimbun (June 2), a woman who has fled to Korea paid the suspects 10,000 yen per bar of gold. On this trip to Japan, each suspect carried 10 bars. Police have not yet located the other 20 bars.