TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a member of a criminal syndicate over the alleged smuggling of stimulant drugs inside coffee bags earlier this year, reports TBS News (July 24).
In April, Akihiro Kato, 60, and an accomplice, also a gang member, allegedly attempted to smuggle 2 kilograms of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, concealed inside bags of coffee beans into Japan from Los Angeles.
The drugs have a street value of 120 million yen, police said.
Kato denies the allegations. “I do not recall [the matter],” the suspect was quoted by police, who previously arrested the accomplice.
A customs official discovered the contraband placed inside a suitcase in the possession of Kato and the other suspect upon their arrival on the same flight at Haneda Airport.
With Tokyo hosting the Olympic Games next year, law enforcement is intensifying its efforts to thwart drug trafficking. Thus far this year, police have made 31 drug busts at Haneda Airport.