Customs agents find nearly $68,000 in gold hidden in shipment
Customs officers discovered gold bars and nuggets worth nearly $68,000 hidden inside a shipment of clothing, officials said Wednesday.
The Customs and Border Protection officers found the concealed gold during a routine X-ray exam of cargo at the Port of Cincinnati on Thursday, authorities said. The X-ray showed the density of the cargo didn’t match what it should have been if the shipment just contained clothing. Officers opened the shipment and found gold bars and a box of loose gold.
They seized the shipment, which originated in San Francisco and was headed toward Hong Kong.
An analysis by an agency lab found the gold was approximately 98% pure, which means it was worth $67,830, officials said. The declared value of the shipment had been just $125.
Exporters must tell federal authorities when a shipment’s value is more than $2,500 through a system designed to assure compliance with export laws. Those who skip out on filing or file inaccurate information can face civil or criminal penalties, though officials have not yet said what penalty the owner of the shipment faces.
Officers at the Ohio port process millions of shipments each year, Port Director Richard Gillespie said.