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Ex-HKT48 member Airi Taniguchi not prosecuted over possession of marijuana

FUKUOKA (TR) – Prosecutors have announced the non-prosecution of Airi Taniguchi, a former member of idol group HKT48, over the alleged possession of marijuana, reports the Sankei Sports (Apr. 30).

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 upon her arrest on April 16. “I thought it might be marijuana.”

On April 30, prosecutors with the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutor’s Office announced the non-prosecution of Taniguchi. The reason given by prosecutors was “lack of evidence.”

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

Airi Taniguchi appeared on the cover of the March, 2019 issue of adult entertainment guide First

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.

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.

Taniguchi has since enrolled as a hostess at a club in the Nakasu red-light district of Hakata Ward.

After her release, Taniguchi apologized on Instagram. However, she wished “to refrain from commenting” on the matter.