TAIPEI: Two Taiwanese men were arrested at the city airport on Friday for allegedly smuggling 6 kg gold bars worth Rs 1.77 crore. While one is a chemical engineer, the other has graduated in psychology , said customs officials.
The customs officials’ suspected something fishy when one of the accused, Lin Hung Yu (33), refused to pass his bag through the metal detector early in the morning.
His defiance made the officials insist that he follow their instruction. The metal detector indicated the presence of a gold bar in the bag. A further search yielded two more bars concealed in Yu’s belt. Each of these three bars weighted 1kg.
That’s when the officials decided to check another Taiwanese, Tseng Hao Chun (30), who was also tried to cross the customs area after Lin. Customs officials said that Chun too had a gold in his bag and two in his belt. Each bar weighs 1kg.
As both the Taiwanese men spoke only Chinese, the customs officials had to rope in the services of a Chinese interpreter from the suburbs. A customs officer said that the two initially denied they were smuggling the gold and insisted that it belongs to them and they wanted to sell it in India. “But they could not furnish purchase documents. Later, they confessed that they were smuggling the gold bars,” said the officer. The two men have been granted bail.
They were given the gold in Taiwan and someone was to collect it from them. Each was promised USD 1,000 (about Rs 65,000) besides return air fare and hotel accommodation.Customs sources said smugglers usually get a cut of around Rs 3 lakh per kilo.