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Marijuana smuggling ring using postal mail busted

TOKYO (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police and Tokyo Customs on Thursday announced the bust of a marijuana smuggling ring that has netted 12 persons, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 9).

Between late March and early April, customs officials found 29 kilograms of marijuana concealed inside clothing packed in cardboard boxes shipped through the postal mail from Los Angeles.

The packages were addressed to eight men and women, aged in their 20s and 40s, living in Saitama and Tokyo, police said.

Following the arrest of the eight persons on suspicion of violating the Marijuana Control Law, the involvement of Shun Watanabe, 24, and three other persons emerged.

Police did not reveal whether any of the suspects admit to the allegations.

During a search of the ring’s headquarters, an apartment in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward, and other locations, officers found an unspecified amount of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, syringes, and more marijuana. The estimated value of all of the contraband seized in the case is 290 million yen, police said.