TOKYO (TR) – The bust of two shops in Shinjuku Ward has eliminated sales outlets for so-called “dangerous drugs” nationwide, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said on Friday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 10).
Officers arrested Hiroshi Takahashi, the 42-year-old manager of the shops, located in the Kabukicho red-light district, and two other suspects for selling packets containing approximately three grams of the illegal substances for 7,000 yen.
The shops operated by placing customer orders by telephone and retrieving the requested packets from a vending machine.
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.
According to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, there were 215 shops selling such drugs at the end of March of last year. The shops in Kabukicho were the only two remaining nationwide.
“As far as the sale of dangerous drugs at shops, the practice has become extinct in our country,” said the ministry’s Yasuhisa Shiozaki, according to TBS News (July 10).
While the number of shops is now at “zero,” Shiozaki added that further measures must be taken to control sales of the drugs on the Internet.