Eight men including a Hong Kong gold merchant went on trial in Guangzhou yesterday over the smuggling into China of gold and gold ornaments worth $523 million. Prosecutors said it was the biggest such case since 1949. It is alleged Hong Kong merchant Wong Sun-hoi committed the offences between early 1990 and July 1992. Smuggled items were sold with false receipts in mainland shops, the court heard. The racket allegedly cost the Government nearly $40 million in potential duty. The hearing continues.