OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested and sent to prosecutors a 48-year-old American woman for attempting to smuggle stimulant drugs concealed inside mascara into Japan earlier this year, reports Nikkan Sports (Dec. 15).
In October, Nicole Butcher, a factory worker, allegedly arrived at Kansai International Airport with a suitcase containing 1,151 containers of mascara with a total of 7 kilograms of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, concealed inside. The contraband has an estimated value of 470 million yen.
According to the Osaka branch of Japan Customs, Butcher arrived at the airport on a flight from Korea after beginning her trip in Spain.
Butcher, who has been accused of smuggling under the Stimulants Control Law, denies the allegations. “An acquaintance asked me to carry [the suitcase] from Spain to Japan,” she told the Kansai Airport Police Station. “I didn’t know that I was bringing something with stimulant drugs inside.”
According to police, the visit was the first to Japan for Butcher, who was traveling alone. Customs officials discovered the contraband during an X-ray inspection.
The mascara brushes inside the packages was unaltered. The stimulant drugs were hidden in plastic bags in the containers for the liquid.