Taipei, Two Taiwanese nationals have been arrested in Japan for allegedly smuggling narcotics into the country with a street value of close to 2.4 billion yen (USD$22.86 million), according to Japanese and Taiwanese media Friday.
According to the Asahi Shimbun, the two Taiwanese suspects are 29-year-old Feng Kuan-chieh (???) and 27-year-old Wu Shang-hua (???), and they were arrested by the Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare's Narcotics Control Department.
The duo allegedly divided the narcotics into 22 separate packages and hid them inside two machines in Malaysia in January that were then shipped to a residence in the city of Yachimata in Japan's Chiba Prefecture, the report said.
The machines were later seized by Tokyo Customs, according to the report.
The United Daily News (UDN) in Taiwan identified the drugs in a report Friday as amphetamines, and said 36.8 kilograms of the drugs worth 2.4 billion yen (USD$22.86 million) were seized.
Feng and Wu are believed to have entered Japan as tourists in January and suspected of staying at the residence -- rented under the name of another Taiwanese national -- to which the amphetamines were addressed, the UDN said.
But the two suspects said they did not know why there were illegal substances hidden in the machines and denied any involvement in drug smuggling, the UDN said.
The incident follows another case described by a report found in The Japan Times as Japan's largest stimulants bust ever in which a Taiwanese man was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Feb. 1 for attempting to smuggle 597 kg of stimulants into Japan in 2016.
Customs in Japan confiscated over 1,000 kg of smuggled stimulants in both 2016 and 2017, according to a NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) report in late February.
Japan's Finance Ministry said 1,379 kilograms of illegal drugs were intercepted in 2017, down 16 percent from the previous year, but the hauls in those two years were the biggest in the past decade, the NHK report said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel