Pensioner fined for gold-smuggling attempt

A German pensioner has been fined for trying to smuggle pure gold worth half a million Euros from Switzerland via Austria into his homeland.Vorarlberg custom officials said today (Fri) the man was ordered to pay 35,000 Euros over the incident last April, but added he had been allowed to keep the valuables.The 69-year-old claimed he only had around 700 Euros and some Swiss Francs with him when he was stopped during a random check at the Swiss-Austrian border.Officers however discovered 17.5 kilos of gold bars and coins worth around 500,000 Euros in the boot of his vehicle.Travellers have to inform custom police if they transfer valuables worth more than 10,000 Euros over the border.The Stuttgart resident told authorities he bought the gold after accepting an inheritance. The retired man explained his plan was to sell the bullion and coins at a higher price to enhance his meagre pension.