TAIPEI (CNA) — A woman was arrested at Taoyuan International Airport on Wednesday for attempting to smuggle gold to Hong Kong, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said in a statement.
The woman, surnamed Chuang (莊), had 4.785 kilograms of gold in her suitcase, which had been molded into the shape of gears and coated with silver to evade detection, the CGA’s Investigation Branch said.
The gold is estimated to have a market value of NT$7.2 million (US$237,456).
According to the CGA, Chuang told CGA officers that her parents once owned a jewelry store and left behind some gold.
She said she intended to sell the gold in Hong Kong because the higher market price there meant she could make NT$500,000 more selling it there instead of in Taiwan, a CGA officer said.
The CGA is now investigating whether Chuang is linked to efforts to smuggle gold to Hong Kong for money laundering purposes, as the CGA has received tips of such plans.
According to regulations in Taiwan, anyone leaving or entering Taiwan carrying gold with a market value exceeding US$20,000 has to receive approval from the Bureau of Foreign Trade as well as declare the gold at customs.
Those who violate the requirement can be fined an amount equivalent to the gold that is not declared or falsely declared.