IGP: No response from Japan on Malaysians arrested

khalid-abu-bakar-smuggling-goldbar-1KUALA LUMPUR: The police have yet to receive any report from their Japanese counterparts, on the arrest of 10 Malaysians accused of smuggling more than 100kg of gold bars into Japan.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said this is despite the police force’s repeated requests for it.

“We asked for the report as soon as the arrests were reported. And we’ve been following up (on the request) every day,” he said at a press conference at the Bukit Aman police headquarters here today.

Khalid said the police had even notified Interpol to deliver their message, “but they haven’t responded to us”.

“So we are still waiting.”

News portal Japan Today reported last week that more than 100kg of gold bars allegedly brought from Malaysia, were seized by customs at the Kansai International Airport, Osaka, in April.

The portal said the gold bars worth over 500 million yen (RM19 million) were concealed in the clothing of 10 Malaysians, none of whom had gone through the required customs declaration procedures.

The report added that Japan customs officials are treating the issue as a suspected violation of their customs and consumption tax laws.

“We hope the (Japanese) authorities will provide us with the report soon. If what they claimed was true, then let us know,” Khalid said.

“Because we have to carry out investigations from here as well. So I hope the minister of foreign affairs will push them (into giving Malaysian authorities the report).”

According to Japan Today, gold smuggling has been on the rise since April 2014, when Japan’s consumption tax was hiked from 5% to 8%.

A woman who was arrested in early June for her involvement in gold smuggling reportedly told police that the activity was like “a part-time job”.

According to her, it was possible to get 10,000 yen for each kilogramme of gold brought into Japan.