• Kyodo, JIJI

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The government will consider stricter penalties on gold smugglers as attempts to illegally bring gold into Japan have been soaring, with offenders attempting to pocket the 8 percent consumption tax from transactions, officials said Tuesday.

The number of gold smuggling cases uncovered by customs authorities in the year through June jumped 1.6 times the previous year to hit a record 467, involving around ¥870 million ($7.6 million) in tax avoidance, also the largest on record, up 1.4-fold, according to the latest government data.

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