TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police announced on Tuesday the arrest of a member of the Sumiyoshi-kai organized crime group for smuggling stimulant drugs into Japan from Taiwan, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (May 7).
Officers took gangster Keisuke Yamauchi, 63, and his 53-year-old wife, Hiroko, and six other suspects into custody for smuggling 987 grams of stimulant drugs — with an estimated street value of 70 million yen — inside four packages of dried plums on a flight from Taipei Songshan Airport to Tokyo Haneda Airport on February 10.
The plum packages were discovered by Tokyo Customers staff members inside the carry-on luggage of two women, both of whom are among the suspects taken into custody. The women had been offered a free trip to Taiwan if they carried the drugs in their bags, police said. During questioning of the women, Yamauchi’s name came to light.
Seven of the eight suspects, including Yamauchi, have reportedly denied the allegations.
A member of organized crime in Taiwan is believed to have inserted the drugs into the plum packages. Investigators are now attempting to determine how the drugs were obtained.