Cops bust alleged Roppongi drug ring

Tokyo police have arrested four employees of a bar in Tokyo’s Roppongi district and one customer in connection with the deaths or hospitalization earlier this year of several people who took drugs, police said Tuesday.

The Metropolitan Police Department suspects that the bar, G Martinis XYZ, is part of a drug-trafficking ring involving foreigners. Police raided G Martinis XYZ on Saturday.

Bar employee Joni Mitsuo Ishii, a 28-year-old Brazilian-Japanese, is accused of selling cocaine and Ecstasy in violation of the Narcotics and Psychotropics Control Law.

Ishii’s name surfaced in testimony given by a 32-year-old Australian man who fell unconscious in April after allegedly taking drugs. The Australian has been arrested on suspicion of drug use.

The four others arrested are three other employees of the bar — a 42-year-old Iranian, a French national and a Japanese national — and a 31-year-old Australian customer. The four were found in possession of cocaine and marijuana when officers raided the bar Saturday, police said.

Ishii is suspected of providing the Australian who later fell unconscious with about 0.5 gram of cocaine, which has a street value of 12,000 yen, and three tablets of Ecstasy, worth a total 10,000 yen, in early April at the bar.

Traces of heroin have been detected in the bodies of three foreign nationals and a Japanese, all of whom died in either March or April in Tokyo, while seven others, including Americans and Japanese, were hospitalized from March to May for symptoms believed to be due to drug use.