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Unlicensed medicine sales net Aum arrests

Senior Aum Shinrikyo member Naruhito Noda and five others from the cult were arrested Tuesday over the alleged unlicensed sale of medicine.

Police raided 47 locations in Tokyo and Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures. The six arrests were made on suspicion of violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.

Eight other people were indicted in June on the same charges.

Police said they believe all profits from the sales went to the cult, which now calls itself Aleph.

Noda, 37, one of five senior cult leaders, is refusing to answer questions, they said.

Defendants in the other case include Kiyoshi Nakano, 36, a used car dealer, and Takashi Inoue, 35, who heads the cult’s Tokyo training center.

According to investigators, the suspects sold ointments imported from China over the Internet and through individual sales agents from February 2003 to April without a license.

A total of 2,300 containers of ointment to treat skin allergies and damage from cosmetics were sold to about 720 people, police alleged.

They believe the cult made a profit of 4,500 yen on each container, which sold for 8,000 yen.

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