National / Crime & Legal

Japanese pair arrested for alleged smuggling of drugs concealed in tabletops

Kyodo

Two men have been arrested after they allegedly tried to smuggle stimulants concealed in two tabletops from the United Arab Emirates, police said Monday.

Taiki Yamazaki, 32, a member of the Kyokuto-kai organized crime syndicate, and Mamoru Katsumata, 32, an executive of a freight shipper, were arrested last Thursday and have denied the charges against them, according to the Metropolitan Police Department.

The tables were sent on a flight to Haneda Airport in Tokyo from Dubai on Dec. 23, and were inspected by Tokyo customs Jan. 17. The stimulants were found after powder was seen on the screws attaching the tabletop to its legs, they said.

The tabletops weighed about 400 kilograms in total.

Investigators replaced the tables with different cargo and arrested the men at a warehouse in Shizuoka Prefecture when they received the shipment, the police said.

Katsumata is said to work for the firm that owns the warehouse, which is in the city of Fuji. The police believe the two men planned to extract the stimulants from the tabletops and refine them.

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