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Ex-NHK exec arrested for import of drugs

Masaru Ikeo
Masaru Ikeo

TOKYO (TR) – A drug control division of the health ministry on Saturday announced the arrest of a former executive of public broadcaster NHK for the importation of so-called “dangerous drugs,” reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 4).

Masaru Ikeo, 64, is alleged to have purchased eight glass vials of liquified illegal chemicals via the Internet from a company in the United Kingdom. The shipment arrived at a post office in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture on June 10.

Ikeo, who has been charged with the illegal importation of a designated drug, has admitted to the allegations. “I bought them for my own use,” the suspect is quoted by police.

The various chemicals comprising dangerous drugs are often able to exploit loopholes in the pharmaceutical law. Since April of last year, the health ministry has been adding the names of prohibited compounds in order to restrict their use.

In recent years, traffic accidents caused by drivers under the influence of such drugs have caught the attention of the public.

Ikeo retired from the broadcaster in 2006. Since April of last year, the suspect has been a contract employee at NHK International. He was in charge of a training program in Bangladesh.

“For a contract employee to be arrested it is truly regrettable,” said a representative of NHK International. “Once all facts of the case are known the matter will be dealt with in the most strict manner. We are currently cooperating with law enforcement.”