The Tokyo Reporter

Wakayama cops bust yakuza-run ¥2 billion marijuana operation

Police busted a gangster-run marijuana operation worth some 2 billion yen in Wakayama Prefecture (Fuji News Network)

WAKAYAMA (TR) – Gangsters were growing over 11,000 marijuana plants worth some two billion yen in a factory, the biggest bust in a decade, police said on Wednesday.

Junichi Kimura, 54, a top-ranking member of the Osaka-based Azuma-gumi, was arrested along with three associates for allegedly violating the Cannabis Control Act by growing the marijuana plants in a factory in the town of Katsuragi, Wakayama Prefecture, Nippon News Network reports (Nov. 16).

Kimura denied the charges, quoted by police as saying he “just happened to stop by,” while his associates have more or less admitted to the charges.

An officer stumbled on the contraband, representing the biggest marijuana bust in a single location in 10 years, while inspecting a factory, police said, adding an investigation is looking into sales routes and treating the case as organized crime.

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