TOKYO (TR) – As a part a crackdown on possession of illegal drugs by foreigners, Tokyo Metropolitan Police have re-arrested a male British national suspected of dealing cocaine in the Roppongi nightlife quarter via the virtual currency bitcoin, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 25).
In July, police searched the residence of Edward James Montague Reid, a 43-year-old resident of Minami Azabu in Minato Ward, and seized 239 grams of cocaine and 92 grams of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, with a combined street value of about 20 million yen.
Reid was arrested and prosecuted on suspicion of possession of stimulant drugs for the purpose of trafficking in July.
Police believe Reid sold illegal drugs to between 40 and 50 customers who frequent clubs in the Roppongi area between April and July. In handling the transactions, the defendant accepted bitcoin, police said.
In applying fresh charges, police this week re-arrested Reid for use of stimulant drugs and cocaine on around July 18. “[The illegal drugs] entered my body,” the defendant was quoted by police in partially admitting to the latest allegations.
Surge in foreigners possessing illegal drugs
According to TV Asahi (Sept. 25), police have observed a surge in the number of foreigners possessing cocaine in Roppongi this year. Police are now investigating whether Reid is a member of a trafficking ring.