More than 10 kg of gold bullion was discovered in the toilet of a Vanilla Air flight from Taipei Taoyuan Airport to Kansai International Airport on June 9, according to Japanese media reports. Osaka customs officials suspect that it was an attempt to smuggle the gold into Japan.
The flight arrived in Osaka at 8:30 am on Sunday. Upon arrival, flight crew found a suspicious package hidden behind the toilet and reported it to police.
Osaka police and customs officers investigated and found the bag to contain gold. After a search of the plane, they discovered another package of gold hidden in another toilet.
No suspects were identified in the case.
Kansai Airport has reported an increase in cases of gold smuggling through the airport recently as the consumption tax on gold is 8%.
In April, 10 passengers to Japan on a flight from Malaysia were caught carrying more than 100 kg of gold worth JPY500 million (NT$133.78 million; US$4.38 million).
The import quota for gold bullion to Japan without declaring the amount at customs is 1 kg per passenger. The amount for Taiwan is by value not exceeding US$20,000.
The carry-on limit for Vanilla Air is two pieces of hand luggage weighing less than 10 kg each.