National / Crime & Legal

Canadian charged with smuggling record haul of stimulant drugs into Japan worth ¥1.8 billion

Kyodo

A Canadian man was charged Monday with attempting to smuggle about 30 kilograms of stimulant drugs through Narita airport, the biggest amount ever seized by Japanese customs authorities from a passenger’s luggage.

Jonathan Isabelle, 21, who was arrested on his arrival at the international airport near Tokyo on Feb. 17, was indicted on a charge of violating the Stimulants Control Law, according to police, Tokyo customs and prosecutors.

The drugs, discovered by a sniffer dog, had an estimated street value of ¥1.8 billion ($16 million).

The Narita branch of the customs office quoted Isabelle as saying he brought two suitcases handed to him at a Canadian airport by an individual who had asked him to take them to Japan, and he agreed to do so as he wanted a reward but did not know what he was carrying.

A similar quantity of stimulant drugs was seized at Haneda airport in Tokyo in April last year, but the amount Isabelle had was 400 grams more, according to the authorities.