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Man arrested for smuggling 240 kgs of drugs from Canada

The operator of a seafood company in Vancouver was arrested last month in Japan on suspicion of smuggling about 240 kilograms of illegal stimulant drugs from Canada, narcotics control authorities said Monday.
It was one of the largest hauls confiscated by the health ministry's Narcotics Control Department, which believes an international criminal organization was behind the smuggling operation. The street value of the drugs was estimated at 14.4 billion yen ($140 million).
Yoshiya Tateyama, a 56-year-old Canadian national 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 on Tateyama in February for allegedly hiding around 240 kg of the drugs, with the help of an unidentified co-conspirator, in a container on a ship in Vancouver. The drugs were shipped on Dec 30 in 240 zipped plastic bags packed in 20 boxes of frozen shrimp, the department said.
The ship arrived at Tokyo's Odaiba waterfront area on Jan 14, it said.
According to the department, Tateyama runs a seafood processing company in Vancouver. He entered Japan in mid-January and transported them on a lorry by himself to his apartment on the day he was arrested. He has admitted to most of the charges.


© KYODO
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