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Caught at airport with suitcase full of booty

By Assumpta Piva HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, April 22, 2010) - A Chinese residing in the American Pacific territory of Guam was arrested yesterday afternoon at Honiara International Airport after a number of goods were found in his bag.

Roy Wu Gong was taken to taken to court and charged with one count of attempted evasion of customs duty on exportation of goods.

He was released on bail, but the court ordered him to surrender his passport and not to approach 1 kilometers of

Airport officers checking his bag found 10kg of alluvial gold (unknown value), 2 kg of beach-de-mer valued at SB$640 [US$77], six pieces of whale’s wax weighing about 10 kg (unknown value) and eight pieces of limestone (unknown value).

Gong was due to leave on the Solomon Airlines Honiara-Brisbane flight. His case was adjourned to this Friday to allow him to get a lawyer. Customs seized the goods found in his bag. Gong denied having possessed 10 kg of whale’s wax, saying it was only 1kg.

Public Prosecutor Rebbecca Christensen told the court additional charges are likely to be laid later.

Magistrate Stephen Wilson granted bail for the accused on $2000 on own recognition with strict conditions.

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