• Kyodo


The number of stimulant drug smuggling cases processed by customs authorities at the nation’s airports and seaports in 2011 rose 22 percent from the previous year to hit a record-high of 185, the Finance Ministry said.

The amount of stimulant drugs seized increased by 25 percent to around 402 kg, the ministry said.

Because the cases involved 64 people from European countries, up around 70 percent, the ministry said the increase might be partly attributable to Europe’s economic plight.

The cases included 141 in which drugs were carried by airplane passengers and 22 in which they were hidden in commercial cargo, both record highs.

Of those involving plane passengers, the number of cases in which smugglers swallowed drugs to conceal them increased by around 80 percent to 37.

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