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National Police Agency introduces new device with dramatic rise in cocaine seized

  • June 5, 2019
  • , Yomiuri evening edition , p. 11
  • JMH Translation

According to the National Police Agency (NPA), there were 434 cocaine cases in 2018, up by 42 from the previous year. Similarly, the number of people involved in cocaine cases rose to 197, up 20 from the previous year. Both figures are the highest since statistics started to be kept in 1959. The amount of cocaine seized by police nationwide in 2018 totaled 42 kilograms, more than four times that seized in the previous year. Considered the drug of the wealthy, cocaine is expensive, and many people involved in cocaine cases are rich.


According to the NPA, the street value of cocaine is 20,000 yen per gram, four times the price of cannabis. Cocaine is sold illicitly mainly in urban areas. Japanese crime syndicates and foreign drug rings are said to be involved.


With the increase in the abuse of cocaine, the NPA has introduced devices for “spectroscopic analysis” at the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department and certain other police headquarters from this fiscal year.


“There are cases where travelers from overseas bring the drug into Japan,” commented a top NPA official. “We want to crack down more on this so use does not spread.” (Abridged)

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