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Foreign trafficking ring raised marijuana plants in soil spread on tatami mats

Pham Van Hung (Twitter)
TOKYO (TR) – It was certainly a cultural faux pas.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have seized nearly 300 marijuana plants in the bust of a foreign trafficking ring operated from a traditional residence in Gyoda City, Saitama Prefecture, reports TBS News (July 2).

In May, police working off a tip entered the Japanese-style house and found 287 marijuana plants and 5.5 kilograms of dried marijuana (with a street value of 33 million yen).

Police later accused Pham Van Hung, a 38-year-old Vietnamese national, of cultivating two of the plants for the purpose of sale.

Upon his arrest, Pham denied the allegations, the Suginami Police Station said.

Police seized 287 marijuana plants from a Gyoda City residence in May (Twitter)

Tatami mats

According to police, the marijuana plants were growing in soil spread over tatami mats inside rooms of the traditional house.

Police made the raid as a part of another investigation. In March, police found another Vietnamese national to be in possession of 1 kilogram of marijuana (valued at around 6 million yen) inside a vehicle in Shibuya Ward.

With several foreigners seen entering and exiting the residence in Gyoda, police believe it was the hub of a trafficking ring.