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Dutch man found innocent of smuggling stimulant drugs in appeal ruling

TOKYO (TR) – A court here has overturned a previous ruling and found a male Dutch national innocent of smuggling stimulant drugs, reports TBS News (April 26).

“There remains reasonable doubt that the defendant willingly smuggled stimulant drugs,” the Tokyo High Court said in handing down the acquittal on Monday.

In May 2019, the defendant, 46, was arrested for attempting to smuggle 1 kilogram of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, inside a suitcase as he passed through Haneda Airport.

A Dutch national was accused of smuggling stimulant drugs through Haneda Airport in 2019

Last year, the Tokyo District Court handed him a 7-year prison term and a fine of 3 million yen.

During that trial, the man said that he received the suitcase from a person he met on a dating site. “I didn’t think the bag I brought to Japan contained illegal drugs,” he said.

The defense then appealed the ruling.

A lawyer expressed relief upon hearing that ruling had been overturned. “We were able to show [people] overseas that a trial in Japan was fair,” the lawyer said.