• Kyodo

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A 56-year-old man was arrested last month in Japan on suspicion of smuggling about 240 kilograms of illegal stimulant drugs with an approximate street value of ¥14.4 billion ($140 million), narcotics control authorities said Monday.

It is one of the largest hauls confiscated by the health ministry’s Narcotics Control Department, which believes an international criminal organization is behind the smuggling operation.

Yoshiya Tateyama, a Canadian national hailing from Kagoshima Prefecture, was first arrested Jan. 27 on suspicion of possessing a bag of illegal stimulants in a short-term lease apartment in Tokyo’s Kichijoji area, according to the department.

The department said it served a fresh warrant for Tateyama in February for allegedly hiding 240 kg of the drugs, along with the help of an unidentified co-conspirator, inside a container of a ship in Vancouver, Canada, on Dec. 30.

The ship arrived at Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront area on Jan. 14, it said.

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