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Israelis accused of smuggling 420 kg of gold inside auto parts

CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police have arrested two male Israeli nationals who are suspected members of a ring that concealed a total 4 tons of gold inside automobile parts in smuggling it into the country, reports Kyodo News (Jan. 23).

According to police, Reuven Rosen, a 58-year-old officer at a precious metals company, and the other suspect were the recipients of 200 kilograms of gold bars — with an estimated value of 924 million yen — concealed inside automobile suspension systems that arrived by mail from Hong Kong at Narita International Airport on November 3, 2017.

Three days later, another shipment with 220 kilograms of gold bars (valued at 1.02 billion yen) arrived at the airport.

at Narita International Airport
In 2017, two Israeli nationals were the alleged recipients of 420 kilograms of gold smuggled through at Narita International Airport (Twitter)

Japan Customs officials detected the gold in the shipments. In carrying out the operation, the suspects attempted to evade a total of 155,520,000 yen in consumption taxes, police said.

Rosen and the other suspect, both of whom live in Tokyo, are believed to be two members of a ring that used similar means to smuggle about 4 tons of gold into Japan on about 50 occasions since March of 2017.

Since the consumption tax increased from 5 percent to 8 percent in April of 2014, the number of smuggling incidents has surged, according to the Ministry of Finance.

When bringing gold into Japan, it is necessary to pay the appropriate consumption tax at the customs office.

However, smugglers evade paying that tax and sell the precious metal to local dealers at a price that includes the duty, which results in what is considered an unfair profit.