TOKYO (TR) – Authorities seized a large quantity of illegal drugs from a yacht with Taiwanese men aboard off the southernmost prefecture of Okinawa this month, the Yomiuri Shimbun learned on Thursday.
The 11th Regional Coast Guard based in Naha City, Okinawa, seized some 600 kilograms of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, valued on the street at over 42 billion yen from a yacht berthed at Naha Port.
The Japan Coast Guard and Okinawa Prefectural Police are treating the case as a massive smuggling of stimulant drugs. An investigation is under way to determine details, such as smuggling routes.
An undisclosed number of Taiwanese men aboard the yacht were previously arrested on suspicion of possession of ketamine, an anaesthetic, after they were believed to have sailed into Naha Port via remote islands off Okinawa, a source involved in the investigation said.
Coast guard officials discovered the cache of drugs after they boarded the yacht for inspection on Tuesday, sources said.
The latest haul eclipses the total 430 kilograms of stimulant drugs seized last year.
The Japan Coast Guard plans to treat the case as a violation of the Stimulants Control Law.