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Tokyo: Trio accused of using social media to recruit drug mules

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police last month announced the arrest of three persons who have been accused of arranging drug couriers via social media, reports Jiji Press (Feb. 28).

According to police, the suspects, including Takeshi So, 41, Shinobu Takeuchi, 40, and Toshihide Shijo, 37, all deny the allegations, telling police, they “know nothing” about the matter.

The suspects, all of no known occupation, are alleged to have used Twitter to recruit four persons to smuggle 9.8 kilograms from kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, concealed inside a suitcase at Haneda Airport via a flight from Malaysia last July 16.

The suitcase containing the drugs — with a street value of around 600 million yen — was picked up in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, police said.

Police arrested four persons for smuggling nearly 10 kilograms of stimulant drugs through Haneda Airport last July 16 (NHK)

Upon the arrest of the drug mules, they told police that they were to be compensated 500,000 yen for the work. On Twitter, the suspects advertised the work as “not illegal, but in a bit of a gray zone.”

Takeuchi was also aboard the flight from Malaysia as a watchman. Meanwhile, So paid various fees, including the costs for the airline tickets, police said.

The three suspects have also been accused of smuggling a box containing 1.7 kilograms of stimulant drugs that arrived at Haneda via a flight from Singapore that same day.

Police believe the suspects are recruiters based in Japan that work with an international smuggling ring