Gold bars are displayed at a gold jewelry shop in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh November 4, 2009.
(photo credit: AJAY VERMA/REUTERS)
Two Israeli citizens were arrested Wednesday in Japan by local police on suspicion of smuggling gold bars into the country, under the guise of importing automobile parts, Ynet News reported.
A total of 420 kilograms of gold bars were seized by police in two different smuggling raids, according to local media. The gold was worth about $17.3 million total.
The two Israelis, Reuven Rosen, 58, and David Cohen, 55, are both recognized residents of Japan and have Japanese spouses, and are now being held for violating Japanese customs laws.
Rosen pleaded guilty, while Cohen denied many of the charges, according to Japanese police, Ynet reported.
The smuggling duo is believed to have brought in around four tons of gold bars into Japan since March of 2017, as a part of a smuggling ring that is believed to originate in Hong Kong.
On November 3, 2017, police at Narita airport in Tokyo seized 200 kilograms of gold bars worth just around $8 million dollars, believed to be attributed to the Israeli duo's smuggling ring.
Police also suspected a second attempt which occurred three days later, where $9.3 million worth of gold bars were captured by the local forces in Tokyo.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said that they were unaware of the incident until the arrests were made and reported.
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