A cleaner found several gold bars in a bin at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport


a criminal had discarded them when he feared being caught. Possibly, someone traveled from Hong Kong, where there is no tax imposed on purchases of gold, to Japan through South Korea thinking it would be easier to bypass custom checks. In January, as an example, seven South Korean women were caught smuggling gold to Japan after an x-ray scan detected a number of metal blocks each weighing 200 grams in their abdomen.


In the actual case, if the owner does not claim them within six months, the cleaner, who has not been named, will be able to take ownership of it under a “finders’ keepers” law. If the owner does come forward, under a “lost articles” law the cleaner will be allowed to keep between five per cent and 20 per cent of the market price of the cache  or up to £48,000. However, If the gold is shown to be linked to criminal activity, he will not be allowed to keep any of its value, but there is currently no proof that is the case. The cleaner immediately alerted the airport’s customs authorities. He legally could own a fortune.


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