YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) Customs officials at the port of Yokohama have confiscated about 2 tons of acetic anhydride, a chemical compound used in the synthesis of heroin and other drugs, in freight containers bound for Afghanistan.

Customs officials and Kanagawa police are investigating whether the attempt to export the compound without permission is linked to a large-scale organized smuggling operation.

Also on Wednesday, the Aichi Prefectural Police said they have seized about 1.4 tons of acetic anhydride, also to be shipped to Afghanistan, at the port of Nagoya and arrested a Pakistani man for an alleged violation of the customs law.

The United Nations has adopted a resolution for controlling anhydride supplies to Afghanistan with the goal of blocking the Taliban’s access to the substance. The Taliban are believed to use heroin and other smuggled drugs to fund their terrorist activities.

Japanese regulations require both importers and exporters to report their trade plans to the government for chemicals that have acetic anhydride in 50 percent or more of their components.

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