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Yakuza involvement suspected in Thai drug smuggling

Dai Itakura
Dai Itakura

BANGKOK (TR) – Thai police suspect that Japanese nationals arrested on drug trafficking and bribery charges have ties to organized crime,  reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 24).

In an undercover sting, police arrested Dai Itakura, 34, for possession of 2.3 kilograms of stimulant drugs at a restaurant. He was also charged with carrying an illegal firearm.

The day before, police had been alerted about a drug-smuggling ring. As a part of the operation, one officer posed as a buyer.

The three other suspects were charged with attempting to bribe the police with roughly $28,000 for his release. Itakura also offered a bribe worth around $48,000.

Thai police believe that Itakura is connected to a criminal syndicate in Japan. They are currently exchanging information about the case with police in Japan.

Itakura is believed to have used Thai women to smuggle the drugs out of the country.

Under Thai law, the possession and smuggling of narcotic and stimulant drugs can be punishable by death.