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Kabukicho shop busted for ‘herb’ drug sales

Kabukicho shop busted for 'herb' drug sales
Tokyo police busted shop in Kabukicho advertising itself as a sex-club information booth for selling illegal “herb” drugs

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the bust of a shop advertising itself as a sex-club information booth for selling “herb” drugs in the Kabukicho entertainment area of Shinjuku Ward, reports Sankei Sports (Nov. 28).

Officers from the anti-organized crime division took Shikibu Sasaki, 45, the manager of Blossom, and three others into custody for selling Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), a psychoactive drug with stimulant properties, in August and October — a violation of the Narcotics Control Law regarding possession and sale.

Sasaki was allegedly selling the powdered drug in combination with organic material and marketing the blend as “herbs” in a practice that is becoming a concern for police authorities.

The sale of “legal herbs,” which the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare defines as plant leaves that have had chemical substances with similar structures to banned drugs applied, started to spread through Japan about a decade ago. When inhaled, the user will hallucinate or become physically excited.

To thwart the spread of these drugs a revision last year to the Pharmaceutical Affairs Laws banned six additional chemicals. In July, another nine substances were added.

Sasaki has reportedly denied the allegations. “I did not know drugs were contained (in the blend),” he is quoted by police. The other three suspects have admitted participation in illegal sales.

According to investigators, Blossom promoted itself as a shop that guides customers to sex clubs in the Kabukicho area. The shop collected approximately 2.2 million yen in revenue monthly. Sales prices were three times that of cost.