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Korean pianist among suspects in smuggling of 500 kg of gold into Japan

TOKYO (TR) – Police have arrested six persons, including a male Korean pianist, who are suspected to be among those involved in the smuggling of nearly 500 kilograms of gold into Japan, reports TBS News (Jan.

In October, 2017, Park Myung-woo, 55, the son of his girlfriend, 25-year-old Kakeru Ishii, and four others concealed gold plates weighing 18 kilograms on luggage carts when passing through customs at Narita International Airport.

All six suspects deny the allegations, police said.

According to police, the suspects visited a bathroom after arriving at the airport via a flight from Korea. They then concealed the gold plates, taken from suitcases, behind placards on the carts.

Noticing that that placards seemed “too thick,” a Japan Customs official halted the group and discovered the gold.

Park Myung-woo (Twitter)

Smuggling ring

Park lives in Shinjuku Ward. Meanwhile, Ishii, a company employee, resides in Saitama Prefecture.

The six suspects are believed to be among a smuggling ring composed of 30 persons, mainly acquaintances and family members based in Korea, police said.

Between May, 2017 and February, 2018, they are suspected of smuggling 497 kilograms of gold, with a value of 2,475 billion yen, into Japan.

By not declaring the gold, the ring is believed to have avoided paying about 198 million yen in consumption tax.