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11 kg gold bars seized at Bangladesh’s airport, Japanese arrested

DHAKA (AFP): Customs officials at Bangladesh’s main airport in Dhaka seized gold bars weighing about 11 kg, from a Japanese national who arrived here by a local Regent Airways flight from Singapore, an official said Saturday.

Acting on a tip-off, Saidul Islam, a senior customs official, told journalists that they detained the Japanese national identified as Kengo Shibata with the gold bars worth about 55 million taka (about 662,650 U.S. dollars) on early Saturday.

The man was arrested when he was crossing green channel at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in capital Dhaka at around 12:40 a.m. local time Saturday and found the gold bars, each weighing one kg, he said.

According to the official, the Japanese man will be handed over to the police.

Sources said organized gangs of local smugglers having link with their foreign sidekicks have been increasingly using Bangladesh as a transit for the illegal transportation of gold, foreign currencies, contraband drug and medicines.

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