Customs Today on 19th October reported that Japan is prepared to raise the consumption tax for the first time in half a decade next year, and the Ministry of Finance worries that gold smuggling will also get a boost. The consumption tax set to rise to 10% in October 2019. When the tax was last increased in 2014, to 8% from 5%, smuggling of the precious metal also rose. Gold is usually acquired in Hong Kong, with no tax, and smuggled to Japan in personal luggage. In 2017, there were 1,347 cases discovered by law enforcement — 112 times the tally from 2013, the year before the last tax hike. Seized gold last year amounted to 6,236 kg, a 47-fold increase.