On January 31, officers from the anti-organized crime division of the Ishikawa Prefectural Police announced the arrest of gangster Yasuto Fukushima, 30, a resident of Kyoto, for the alleged raising of 700 marijuana plants in storage houses in the cities of Kahoku and Kanazawa between November 2010 and May of last year — a violation of the hemp control law.
Officers had previously taken company employee Kaname Sakai, 41, and Miki Tanaka, 40, who works in the waste disposal industry, into custody on the same charges.
Fukushima and Sakai allegedly operated the storage houses, while Tanaka participated in the cultivation of the plants at the Kahoku location for a two-month period last year. Investigators seized 2.3 kilograms of dried cannabis with a reported resale value of 14 million yen.
Both Fukushima and Sakai have reportedly denied the allegations.
According to the Mainichi Shimbun (Feb. 1), the matter came to light following the discovery of a note in the possession of another participant in the ring who had committed suicide in May of last year at the site of the Kanazawa storage house.
In November and December of last year, officers arrested six males, aged in their 20s and 30s, on the same charges, but they were not prosecuted by the court.