SAPPORO - Three Taiwanese women have been arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle about ¥50 million ($470,000) worth of gold into Japan through their bras, the police said Monday.
Each woman had two bowl-shaped pieces of gold hidden in pockets attached to their bras, the police said.
The smuggling attempt was detected when they arrived at Hakodate Airport in Hokkaido from Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan in November. They were arrested on Feb. 28.
Each golden bowl was 11 cm in diameter and weighed around 1.75 kg.
The women have admitted to the allegations, saying a man introduced by an acquaintance abetted them, according to the police.
Gold smuggling has been on the rise in Japan since the consumption tax was raised to 8 percent from 5 percent in 2014. The smugglers are trying to evade the higher tax levied on gold imports worth over ¥200,000 so they can sell it to shops at the tax-inclusive price.
While many of them try to conceal gold bullion in their underwear, seven women who arrived at Chubu Centrair International Airport in Aichi Prefecture from South Korea in late January were found with gold concealed in their rectums, airport officials said.