White Kona” mixed with powdered food sold at a takoyaki restaurant. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

White Kona” mixed with powdered food sold at a takoyaki restaurant.

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A surprising drug case occurred in Nagoya, one of Japan’s largest cities.

The “white powder” sold at a takoyaki (octopus dumpling) shop was, in fact, a drug.

The “powder shop was selling a different kind of kona” was discovered in Naka Ward, Nagoya City. The suspects arrested on suspicion of violating the Narcotics Control Law are Masamichi Shimazu, 29, a takoyaki store owner, and his employee Takayuki Suzaki, 31.

On February 15, the two were suspected of possessing 0.7 grams of cocaine for sale at Shimazu’s takoyaki restaurant, equivalent to 14,000 yen at street value. The takoyaki store was a take-out store, and the system was such that when the suspects handed over the takoyaki, they put the cocaine in the same bag and sold it to the customers when they said a predetermined “secret word”” (a reporter from the society section of a national newspaper).

Former Kanagawa Prefectural Police detective and crime journalist Taihei Ogawa explains the background of the case.

Depending on how long it took to get caught, there is a possibility that illegal drug trafficking was being carried out on a regular basis. Just recently, there was a case in Tokyo where marijuana was sold in a beauty parlor. In fact, it is a common pattern to sell drugs illegally behind the back of a legitimate profession. If they were selling only drugs in hiding, they would be easily discovered. In that respect, if you have some kind of store in the open, it is a good cover. Cocaine is described by cryptic words such as “coke” and “snow,” and the information that you can buy it by telling people about it is probably shared on the Internet and by word of mouth. There is such a thing as a community of drug seekers. The use of these disguises has become increasingly sophisticated.

The police also believe that the proceeds were being used to pay for one of the largest sex store groups in Mie Prefecture, and have arrested four people, including the group’s leader, Kazuya Kodama, 31. Mr. Ogawa continued.

“In conducting the raid, we seized security cameras, the suspects’ smartphones, and other communication devices. This is to find out who bought cocaine at the store. Naturally, since the suspect himself is not making cocaine, there will be a parallel investigation into where he is purchasing it from. In addition, it is possible that the arrested organized crime group may have other drug dealers, which will also be investigated.

The fact that funds were flowing to criminal organizations is problematic. The suspect’s criminal record will depend on the charges, but since possession of narcotics for the purpose of use and for the purpose of sale are completely different, a one-shot prison sentence is not out of the question. Naturally, further charges will be on the horizon.

The police have not yet released their confession or denial of the charges. In order to prevent such a thing from happening again in this busy downtown area, we are waiting for the full details of the case to be revealed as soon as possible, including how the cocaine was obtained and its connection to the gang.

  • Photo Jiji Press

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