TOKYO (TR) – A male Canadian national in custody for allegedly smuggling more than 200 kilograms of stimulant drugs into Japan concealed the contraband as seafood, law enforcement said, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 9).
On January 27, officers with the Kanto Narcotics Control Department seized about 240 kilograms of kakuseizai, or stimulant drugs, from the residence, located in the Kichijoji Honcho area.
The contraband, packed inside 20 cardboard boxes, has a street value of 14.4 billion yen, the department said.
That same day, police first accused self-employed Yoshiya Tateyama, 56, of possessing one bag of stimulant drugs weighing 1 kilogram. The following month he was further accused of trafficking.
Tateyama, who is of Japanese descent, generally admits to the allegations, the department said.
According to the department, Tateyama worked with accomplices to conceal the contraband as frozen shrimp aboard a ship that left the Port of Vancouver in Vancouver, Canada on December 30.
The shipment arrived at Odaiba, Tokyo on January 14. It then passed through Japan Customs and was delivered to the residence by truck. Officers apprehended Tateyama at the scene.
The seizure is the largest of its kind for the department, which after receiving a tip began conducting an investigation several years ago.