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Paint it black: Feds seize disguised gold at Florida airport

Nearly six pounds valued at $170,000 found in Fort Lauderdale.
A batch of black-painted gold was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
A batch of black-painted gold was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. [ U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION | U.S. Customs and Border Protection ]
Published Oct. 9

FORT LAUDERDALE — U.S. Customs and Border Protection found nearly six pounds of gold that was painted black being smuggled into a Florida airport on Wednesday.

The undeclared gold was disguised as belt buckles, bracelets and keychains and is valued at about $170,000, officials said. It was found at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport.

“Gold is one of the top ten items smuggled globally, either to evade import duties or to launder the illicit profits of Transnational Criminal Organizations, " Stephen Balog, the agency’s acting Fort Lauderdale port director, said in a news release.

The passenger with the black painted gold was arriving from Columbia. It was seized and Homeland Security Investigations agents are investigating the case.