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Chiba police: Marijuana cultivation operation funded yakuza

CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police have arrested four persons over the alleged cultivation of marijuana, an operation that is believed to have funded organized crime, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Aug. 6).

According to police, the four suspects are Toshihito Nakanishi, a 58-year-old graphic designer, Masataka Koyama, a 36-year-old company employee and Yohei Nishizaki and Ryusuke Ito, both 33 and of no known occupation.

On the night of June 6, the suspects were allegedly cultivating with intent to sell 81 marijuana plants — valued at 24.3 million yen — inside a unit of a housing complex in the Hanamigawa area. The suspects were also allegedly possessing with intent to sell 4 kilograms of dried cannabis, valued at 23.8 million yen.

Police seized 87 marijuana plants from two housing units in Chiba City in June (Twitter)

Police separately accused Nishizaki and Koyama of possessing six other marijuana plants — valued at around 1.8 million yen — and an additional 36 grams of dried cannabis (worth about 216,000 yen) inside another unit on June 5.

All four suspects have either declined to comment on the allegations are choosing to remain silent, police said.

Police suspect that part of the revenue from the operation was funneled to the Inagawa-kai criminal syndicate. On Thursday, police raided an office of the gang in Funabashi City in search of evidence in the case.