KANAGAWA (TR) – An organized crime member is among three persons arrested in the alleged smuggling of more than 300 kilograms of stimulant drugs found in a container ship at the Port of Yokohama earlier this year, reports Fuji News Network (July 27).
In May, Yokohama Customs officials found 350 kilograms of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, concealed aboard the vessel from China. The contraband has an estimated value of 22.4 billion yen.
According to Kanagawa Prefectural Police, the drugs were packed in cardboard boxes and falsely labeled as being sand for use as pet litter. The contraband was then swapped out of packages and replaced by substitute material by law enforcement.
Bait and switch
A portion of the drugs was to be sent to a bankrupt company in Shimoda City, Shizuoka Prefecture. Upon the arrival of the substituted material on Wednesday, police arrested Kiyomi Ataka, a 49-year-old member of the Inagawa-kai, and 45-year-old Masato Sato for violating a narcotics control law.
Both suspects deny the charges, saying they know nothing about the matter.
The seizure is the largest for kakuseizai in the history of Yokohama Customs. It is the fourth largest nationwide, according to the Asahi Shimbun (July 27).