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Hyogo cops nab ex-yakuza, Iranians in drug bust

Police seized 1.6 kilograms of stimulant drugs
Police seized 1.6 kilograms of stimulant drugs

HYOGO (TR) – Hyogo Prefectural Police have arrested a former gang member who headed a drug ring supplied by foreign dealers, investigative sources revealed on Monday, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 21).

On September 16, police arrested Katsumi Masuda, 50, for the purchase of stimulant drugs, cocaine and cannabis from two Iranian nationals, including a 33-year-old male from Nagoya, inside a hotel room in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture.

In addition to Masuda and the Iranian nationals, police have arrested 8 other male and female participants in the ring. As a part of the investigation, police have seized a total of 1.6 kilograms of stimulant drugs (with a street value of 120 million yen) and 160 million yen in cash.

According to the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 21), members of the ring had designated duties: Masuda was the “shacho,” or president, the term “sommelier” was applied to two quality-control specialists and two women, dubbed “haitatsuyaku,” made deliveries by bicycle.

The operation was run out of an apartment in Amagasaki. Since April of last year, the ring is believed to have made 530 million yen in sales. Police believe that an organized crime group was using the sales as a means of funding.