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OSAKA — A construction worker in Matsubara, Osaka Prefecture, was arrested Thursday, and his three children taken into custody, for allegedly selling thinner to teenagers in violation of the poison control law, police said.

The 53-year-old man, whose identity was withheld, allegedly sold thinner to more than 10 junior high school students and other teenagers on some 160 occasions between September 1997 and last May, taking in 650,000 yen.

Police said he brought the thinner from work and sold it to the teens, adding that his three children sold it when their father was not at home. The man’s two daughters, aged 18 and 13, and son, 16, are also being held, police said.

According to police, the father initially condemned his son’s habit of sniffing glue, but later changed his mind after overhearing that the boy and his friends planned to start stealing it last August.

The father instructed his kids not to steal and provided thinner for his son and teens at the house, police said. He began marketing the product on the black market to teenagers last September because he had a monthly debt of 200,000 yen, they said.

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