New method of smuggline gold into Japan suspected
NHK -- Jul 23
Smugglers are suspected of using a new method to get gold bars into Japan. They are hiding them behind the toilet walls on low-cost carrier aircraft that fly both international and domestic routes.

On July 9th, dozens of kilograms of gold bars were found stashed behind the walls of a washroom of a Vanilla Air passenger jet that had arrived at Kansai International Airport from Taiwan.

The wall panels are believed to have been removed beforehand. Sources say staff at the low-cost carrier inspected 11 of its other planes and found similar modifications to 4 of them. They say the screws holding the panels in place have been altered so that they would come off easily. In some cases, the panels are said to have been found slightly out of alignment.

In the past, smugglers have used tape to attach bullion to the bottoms of their feet or have concealed it in battery slots of notebook computers.

The jet found carrying the hidden gold on July 9th was scheduled to leave for Amami Airport in Kagoshima Prefecture after arriving from Taiwan. Budget carriers often use the same aircraft for domestic and international flights. It's not uncommon for planes to make both kinds of flights within a single day.

News source: NHK
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