Okinawa Regional Customs and Naha Coast Guard have arrested four men and women, all of them Chinese cruise ship crew on suspicion of violating the customs laws. They are suspected of having smuggled a total of 27 kilograms (almost 60 pounds) of gold, valued at ¥124.68 million (US $1,114,639.20), aboard Dream Cruises cruise ship Genting Dream from Hong Kong.
The four crew arrested are Lo Ho Cheng, 30, Son Huang, 26, Huang Seucheong, 22 and Tan Hong Ming, 29, a hairdresser. According to the indictment, they colluded to import 27 one-kilogram (59.52 pounds) gold bars illegally into Japan and evade a total of ¥9,98 million in taxes.
The smuggling ring leader Lo Ho Cheng, traveled on the Bahamas-registered cruise liner “Genting Dream” from Hong Kong on October 1, 2017 and hid the gold aboard. He arrived at Naha Port October 3, where Son and Huang left the ship smuggling the gold hidden in their underwear and eye glass cases. They met Tan and Lo in Naha to hand the gold over.
Dream Cruises has two cruise ships, Genting Dream and World Dream. The 2016 built Genting Dream was designed for the Asian cruise market and has a large number of restaurants, a casino and specially designed cabins. She has a capacity of 3,352 passengers and 1,999 crew members.
This is the second high dollar value cruise ship smuggling arrest this year in Japan. In January this year, Okinawa Police and Okinawa Customs Office arrested six men suspected of importing an 10 kg of illegal stimulants into Okinawa on a cruise ship. Investigators seized more than 10 kg (22 Pounds) of the drugs from the men with an estimated street value of more than ¥700 million (US$6,258,000).
According to investigators, three of the men had come to Okinawa on a cruise ship last December when they were arrested after customs inspectors discovered the stimulants in their possession. Further investigation revealed that other three men belonging to the same group had arrived at Okinawa earlier.
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