A crackdown on luxury-goods smuggling by the Korean Air owner family has sufficiently spooked others to prompt them to declare their overseas purchases voluntarily.
According to the Korea Customs Service on Wednesday, voluntary declarations of duty-free purchases by Korean tourists in the first seven months of this year rose 53 percent compared to the same period of last year to 114,825 cases.
In 2015, when the government introduced voluntary declaration, 52,668 cases were reported.
The rise is believed to have been prompted by a crackdown on the Korean Air owner family, whose homes were raided in high-profile operations to bring their hundreds of smuggled luxury accessories to light. Heiress Cho Hyun-ah faces trial but claims the purchases were all gifts.
KCS official Seon Seung-kyu said, “As more and more Koreans travel abroad, public awareness of customs declarations has also spread, but the latest scandal involving Korean Air certainly helped a lot.”
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