In an unusual development, two Israeli citizens were arrested today (Wednesday) in Japan on the suspicion of smuggling into the country from Hong Kong gold ingots disguised as automotive parts. This is being reported by Ynet, quoting Japanese sources. In total, 420 Kg (924 lbs) of gold worth around USD 17.3 million was seized, but the Japanese authorities believe that the smuggling ring moved no less than four metric tons of gold into the country. The two Israeli citizens were identified as Reuben Rosen (58) and David Cohen (55) and they are being described as directors in a metal imports company. Both are legal residents in Japan and have Japanese girlfriends or spouses.
Japanese authorities are claiming that the two men broke Japanese customs laws and avoided paying lawful duties and taxes on the import of precious metals. The Israelis are suspected of moving the smuggled gold into a Tokyo apartment and distributing it duty-free via middlemen .
Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs denied any knowledge of the affair.