Japan Sees Surge In Gold Smuggling As Yakuza & Wealthy Chinese Team Up…(NO! Buy Stocks!:Janet Yellen)

Saturday, August 26, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Aug 25, 2017

In a story that was seemingly tailor-made for the tabloids, Japanese news agency Nikkei is reporting that, in an unusual but tantalizing example of financial symbiosis, wealthy Chinese investors are teaming up with Yakuza gangsters to smuggle gold into Japan. The payoff for each side is simple: Chinese investors, who are increasingly fearful that a depreciating yuan will create turbulence in local stock and bond markets, can circumvent China’s stringent capital controls and move their money out of the country. And by cheating the Japanese government out of a consumption tax, the Yakuza stand to make a healthy profit.

“The argument goes that the rich, having lost confidence in the Chinese yuan and with investment in other assets becoming difficult, are turning to gold smuggling to move their wealth out of the country. They supposedly hire mules to carry the gold from China, as well as places like South Korea and Taiwan, into Japan, where the consumption tax increase has made it easy for them to pay off the carriers and bribe staff at Asian airports.”

While Nikkei admits that its story is mostly based on hearsay, data show that a spike in demand for gold on the mainland has coincided with an increase in busts for gold smuggling by Japanese customs officials.

“On the data side, statistics from World Gold Council show that while global demand for gold used in jewelry and as an investment dropped 13.3% on the year in the three months through June, China’s demand rose 7.8%.

On the anecdote side, Chinese media outlet Shenyang Daily recently reported that 21 members of a gold smuggling gang had been discovered by customs officials in Shenyang, the largest city in Liaoning Province. Six were arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle 45kg of gold out of China, while several other members were caught in the early morning of March 21 at Shenyang’s Taoxian International Airport carrying 37kg of gold. One member was sent back to Shenyang from Japan after being caught trying to smuggle in 8kg of gold in January.”

The Rest…HERE

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