Japanese police arrest 7 Chinese in mass drug smuggling

Japanese authorities have arrested seven Chinese men on suspicion of smuggling what was believed to be a record amount of stimulants by ship-to-ship transfers.

Tokyo police said yesterday that seven Chinese aged 24-40 were arrested this week on suspicion of illegally possessing “large amounts” of stimulants on the Izu coast, west of Tokyo.

They allegedly smuggled nearly 1 ton of amphetamines, a record one-time seizure in Japan estimated to be worth USD550 million, according to Japan’s NHK broadcaster. The drug was believed to have been smuggled from Hong Kong, NHK said.

The amount of the stimulant is about the same as an annual total in the last three years. Last year, Japanese authorities seized 1.1 tons of smuggled stimulants, according to the National Police Agency.

Police on a stakeout arrested the men while they were unloading bags from their boat on the coast, Kyodo News reported.

The arrests were part of an ongoing investigation into international drug rings and gangster groups following reports of suspicious ships spotted in the area.

The previous record one-time seizure was about 600 kilograms of stimulants on a boat docked at a port on Okinawa, southern Japan. Mari Yamaguchi, Tokyo, AP

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