Police in Tokyo have arrested two Israeli Jews living in Japan for attempting to smuggle—by airmail—485 pounds (220 kilograms) of gold bars—the largest ever gold smuggling operation ever uncovered in that country.
A report in the English-language Mainchi newspaper said the two Jews—named as Reuben Rosen, 58, an executive at a precious metals importer, and David Cohen, 55, were also held for alleged violation of Japan’s Customs Act, for successfully smuggling by airmail an additional amount of about 200 kg of gold — worth some ¥924 million ($8.42 million) — hidden within auto parts from Hong Kong, and evading some ¥70 million in consumption tax.
The police believe the Jews belong to a group suspected of similarly smuggling a total of some 4 tons of gold in 50 batches since March 2017, and selling it in Japan.
Investigators believe the gold bars were bought by a third party in Hong Kong and that the two Jews then arranged for receipt of the gold. Once the goods arrived at a condominium in Tokyo’s Taito Ward, the pair sold the gold through dealers.