North Korean diplomat caught smuggling gold

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North Korean Diplomat Caught Smuggling Gold

A North Korean diplomat is being investigated after he was caught carrying $1.4 million worth of gold bars in what officials are calling "a clear case of smuggling."

Authorities say 50-year-old Son Yung Nam flew with 170 gold bars to Dhaka, Bangladesh from Singapore. Because he has diplomatic immunity, he was not arrested. However, he did spend several hours with customs while they questioned him and searched his luggage.

The customs intelligence chief told the Agence France-Presse that visitors can only bring a maximum of $1,282 worth of gold. Meanwhile, Son Yung brought more than one million.

Authorities said they believe the diplomat was going to sell the gold to criminals in Bangladesh. They intend to prosecute him under the country's harsh anti-smuggling laws as soon as they are given the green light from the foreign ministry.

Last year, the country saw a huge leap in gold smuggling. The same customs intelligence chief who handled this most recent case says his team caught smugglers in the act every day of 2014.

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