TOKYO (TR) – As a part of an ongoing crackdown, Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Thursday announced that suspects arrested in the trafficking of a special type of synthetic drug used the virtual currency bitcoin to complete transactions, reports TBS News (March 18).
On Thursday, officers took Masayuki Shimizu, 33, into custody for the smuggling of 500 grams of ingredients used in the manufacturing of so-called “dangerous drugs” from Denmark via China to Narita International Airport.
Over a four-month period starting last October, the suspect then sold the contraband from within an apartment in Shinjuku Ward for a total of 40 million yen.
Possession and use of such drugs, which have chemical structures that can vary in order to exploit loopholes in the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, had not been illegal until revised legislation went into effect in April of last year.
Shimizu, who has been charged with violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, said that he did not know the chemicals in the drugs were illegal. The suspect also said that he accepted bitcoin as payment for some of the transactions due to the the anonymity the virtual currency provides.