Gold smugglers caught on cruise ship
Okinawa Customs and Naha Coast Guard have arrested a group of four men and women, all of them Chinese nationals, on suspicion of violating the customs laws. They are suspected of having smuggled a total of 27 kilograms of gold, valued at ¥124.68 million, onboard a large cruise liner from Hong Kong.
Police has not revealed if the suspects have confessed, citing their investigation into the case is not yet complete. The Naha District Public Prosecutors Office brought charges against the four on the same day. This is the second large-scale smuggling incident involving a cruise liner, after an attempt to bring stimulants into the country was discovered last December.
The four arrested are 29-year-old hairdresser Tan Hong Ming, 30-year-old Lo Ho Cheng, and Son Huang, 26, and Huang Seucheong, 22, both members of the ship’s crew. According to the indictment, they colluded to import 27 one-kilogram gold bars illegally into Japan and evade a total of ¥9,98 million in taxes.
Reportedly, Lo traveled on the Bahamas-registered cruise liner “Gentin Dream” from Hong Kong on Oc. 1st and hid the gold onboard. He arrived at Naha Port Oct. 3rd, where Son and Huang left the ship caddying the gold hidden in their underwear and eye glass cases. They met Tan and Lo in Naha to hand the gold over.