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Tokyo police find drug labs in residences of American; ¥5 billion in stimulants seized

Tokyo police found materials and equipment
Tokyo police found equipment used for the production of stimulant drugs in three residences of an American national in December (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – An anti-organized crime division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have applied fresh charges of manufacturing stimulant drugs to a male American national already in custody on suspicion of smuggling nearly 5 billion yen of the same contraband, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 27).

Over a one-week period through December 13, 2017, Matthew Hoang, 25, is alleged to have possessed frying pans, pots and other equipment used for the manufacture of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, in three residences in Minato and Ota wards rented on a short-term basis.

Hoang has declined to comment on the allegations, according to police.

In January, police first arrested Hoang for allegedly shipping 12 kilograms of stimulant drugs — concealed as seasonings — from California to a residence in Toshima Ward. A Tokyo Customs official discovered the contraband during an inspection at Narita International Airport in December.

Police later arrested Hoang again for smuggling another 65 kilograms using the same means. The 77 kilograms of stimulant drugs have a street value of 4.9 billion yen, police said.

After the smuggling was uncovered, police discovered the drug labs in the residences, which resulted in the suspect’s third arrest.