TOKYO (TR) – Japan’s Finance Ministry revealed last week that the amount of illegal drugs seized by customs officials declined in 2017 over the year before. However, the amount of stimulant drugs confiscated exceeded 1,000 kilograms for the second consecutive year, reports NHK (Feb. 24).
According to the ministry, officials seized 1,379 kilograms of illegal drugs, a decrease of 16 percent over the year before. Of that amount, 1,159 kilograms was kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs. The contraband has a street value of around 700 million yen.
The amount of stimulant drugs seized represents a decline over 2016, when the total was 1,501 kilograms. However, the figures are the first time the 1,000-kilogram mark has been eclipsed for two straight years since such statistics started being kept in 1985, the ministry said.
The largest seizure was in Ibaraki Prefecture in August. During the bust of an international trafficking group, whose members included organized crime members, police seized 475 kilograms of stimulant drugs inside a truck.
Meanwhile, the amount of marijuana seized rose in 2017. Customs officials confiscated 130 kilograms of the drug, a sharp increase over the 9 kilograms seized the year before. The majority (106 kilograms) was found concealed inside wooden doors that arrived via a freighter from South Africa at a port in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward in December.