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Ex-HKT48 member Airi Taniguchi accused of possessing marijuana

FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police have arrested Airi Taniguchi, a former member of idol group HKT48, over the alleged possession of marijuana, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 16).

At around 10:45 a.m. on March 26, Taniguchi, 21, was allegedly in possession of 0.025 grams of marijuana inside her family’s residence in Fukuoka City’s Chuo Ward.

“It was in the shoulder bag that my boyfriend left behind about six months ago,” the suspect was quoted by the Nishi Police Station. “I thought it might be marijuana.”

Airi Taniguchi auditioned for HKT48 in 2011

During a search of the room that Taniguchi was using, police also found rolling paper and utensils for smoking marijuana.

The search took place as a part of a separate investigation. In January, police arrested Taniguchi’s boyfriend on suspicion of confinement and inflicting injury. Investigators also found marijuana inside his residence.

Police are now seeking to learn how Taniguchi and her boyfriend obtained the contraband.

In 2011, Taniguchi, a native of Fukuoka Prefecture, auditioned for HKT48, an affiliate group of AKB48. After joining Team H, she left the group in 2012.