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A plane was held at Sabiha Gökçen Airport due to claims of uregistered gold. REUTERS photo

A plane was held at Sabiha Gökçen Airport due to claims of uregistered gold. REUTERS photo

A Turkmenistan Airlines plane carrying allegedly unregistered gold from Istanbul to Ashgabat has been held at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport due to a false statement that claimed it was carrying sinks.

Istanbul Customs Enforcement Directorate for Intelligence of Smuggling and Narcotics captured the unregistered gold, which belongs to the Turkish construction firm Polimeks, daily Akşam has reported. 

The company said yesterday in a press release that the gold was registered and invoiced. “The gold is aimed to be exported in order to provide construction materials from the countries in which payment is not possible via banks due to international embargo.”According to the report, Istanbul Customs Enforcement Directorate received a tip off about the plane and organized an operation before it took off to Ashgabat. While customs documents said the plane was carrying sinks in containers, 1.3 tons of unregistered gold in safe combinations was found, the report said.

Polimeks defended itself by showing documents that declared all the materials, including sinks, batteries, plants, marble, etc on Feb. 21 for the transfer, which was planned to be realized Feb.22 from Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

Polimeks claimed the amount of gold found weighed only 190 kilograms, contrary to claims that said it was 1.3 tons. The exportation of the gold abroad is free, in line with the law for protection of Turkish currency, the company said, adding that there was no customs duty on gold exports.

The incident resulted due to a time and procedural mistake made inadvertently and could not be explained to officials during export transactions.

Polimeks is a construction firm that carries out projects in Turkey and abroad. It built the Palace of Happiness and Television Tower in Turkmenistan. k HDN

February/24/2013

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