Amount of Gold Smuggling Drops over 60 Pct in Japan in 2018

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 22 (Jiji Press)--The total amount of smuggled gold in ingot form detected by customs offices in Japan in 2018 fell over 60 pct from the previous year, thanks possibly to stricter regulations including higher fines, the Ministry of Finance said Friday.

The amount of smuggled gold ingot plunged some 65 pct to 2,119 kilograms, while the number of gold smuggling cases dropped some 20 pct to 1,088.

Smuggling in gold allows the perpetrators to avoid paying consumption tax, imposed on gold imports. The benefit will increase after the consumption tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct in October.

The MOF will strengthen monitoring, in the belief that the smuggled amount is only "the tip of an iceberg," said a senior official of the the ministry's Customs and Tariff Bureau.

In 2017, smuggling by airplane passengers accounted for 90 pct of the total smuggling cases, but the share dropped to 60 pct in 2018, thanks to the deployment of metal detectors.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press