Man Held Over Smuggling Gold Worth ¥32 Mil. Disguised As Golf Club Heads

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Gold disguised as golf club heads are seen in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture.

HIROSHIMA — Hiroshima prefectural police said Friday they had arrested a Vietnamese national jointly with Kobe Customs on suspicion of violating the Customs Law by attempting to illegally import gold from Vietnam disguised as golf club heads.

The man denied the charge, saying he was unaware that he had to declare the gold, the police said.

The 32-year-old self-proclaimed car salesman is suspected of attempting to smuggle a total of 3.5 kilograms of gold worth ¥32 million disguised as the heads of six golf clubs in a golf bag at the immigration checkpoint at Hiroshima Airport in Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture, on November 15, according to police.

The man was arrested on November 18. When a customs officer found the golf clubs, the heads of them were colored silver.

When gold is brought into Japan, consumption tax must be paid at customs. The prefectural police believe the man was trying to evade paying the tax.