A statue similar to the gold statues that were smuggled by Japanese men. (Source: mavangvn.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Hanoi People’s Procuracy has completed the indictment prosecuting two Japanese men for smuggling seven golden statues through the Noi Bai International Airport.

Iwamura Masakazu, 46, and Kitada Takayoshi, 34, were prosecuted for smuggling under clause 153, article 4, point a of the Criminal Code.

According to the indictment, Iwamura Masakazu was former director of the Japanese-based RG Innovation Company, a broker in bringing Vietnamese labourers to Japan.
 
Knowing that the handicraft gold products in Japan are priced very high, he decided to buy gold products in Vietnam to bring them back for sale in Japan.

Through Vietnamese friends in Japan, who said that they have relatives trading gold in Vietnam and handicraft gold products can be bought at cheap prices, Iwamura Masakazu and Kitada Takayoshi devised a plan to buy handicraft gold products in Vietnam and sell them in Japan.

In early July 2016, Iwamura Masakazu and Kitada Takayoshi came to the Sinh Dien gold and jewelry shop on Ngo Gia Tu street, Tien An ward, Bac Ninh city (northern Bac Ninh province) to see models and prices.

After negotiations on volume and price, Iwamura Masakazu asked the shop owner to mould seven gold statues, including four Di Lac (Maitreya) Buddha statues and three Mr. Tam Da statues.

Iwamura Masakazu gave Kitada Takayoshi 32.3 million JPY (287,000 USD) to buy the seven statues and promised to pay him 80,000 JPY (711 USD) if they are brought to Japan successfully.

In order to avoid the inspection of Vietnam’s customs, Iwamura Masakazu told Kitada Takayoshi to coat the gold statues with a silver layer.

According to the plan, on August 2, 2016, Kitada Takayoshi arrived in the Sinh Dien gold & jewelry shop to receive the gold statues, weighing 6.974 kilogrammes in total, at the price of 31.555 million JPY.

On August 3, 2016, the Noi Bai International Airport’s customs inspected and discovered the statues in Kitada Takayoshi’s hand luggage without declarations.

Examinations showed all the seven statues are made of gold with purity of 99.99 percent, weighing 6.794 kilogrammes and worth 6.749 billion VND.-VNA