Tue, Jul 11, 2017 - Page 1 News List

No suspects yet after gold bars found in plane toilets

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

An airplane belonging to Japanese budget airline Vanilla Air is pictured in Tokyo in an undated photograph.

Photo: CNA

The Aviation Police Bureau yesterday said it has yet to identify a suspect who might have hidden two bags of gold bars in the restrooms on a Vanilla Air flight to Japan’s Kansai International Airport on Sunday.

The Japanese government needs to provide more information about the incident to facilitate the bureau’s investigation, it added.

The investigation began following a report in yesterday’s Sankei Shimbun that said bags containing dozens of kilograms of gold bars were found in two of the restrooms aboard a plane operated by the Japanese budget airline.

The bars might have belonged to a smuggling ring that tried to illegally transport gold from Taiwan to Japan to evade the latter’s 8 percent sales tax levied on imported gold, the report said, adding that a similar case involving a Malaysian tourist occurred in April.

Customs officials in Osaka have also looked into the matter, the report said.

The bureau said it has reviewed surveillance footage of passengers boarding the flight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, but has not found any passenger who behaved unusually.

It has excluded the possibility that someone could have passed security by tying the bars to their body, as doing so would have set off metal detectors, it said.

The bureau is to see if the bars might have been brought on board by a transit passenger, it said, adding that it has asked for more information from the Japanese aviation authority.

In view of the incident, security officials at the Taoyuan airport have been asked to enhance inspections of passengers and their luggage, the bureau said.

This story has been viewed 13037 times.

Comments will be moderated. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned.

TOP top