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158 kg of meth bound for Japan seized in Thailand

Thai police show bags full of methamphetamine to the press in Bangkok on Nov. 14, 2019. (Kyodo)

BANGKOK (Kyodo) -- A 44-year-old Thai man was arrested Thursday after 158 kilograms of methamphetamine were seized from treadmills bound for Japan, according to Thai authorities.

    Police called it the largest single seizure of methamphetamine or "ice" in the country headed to Japan.

    A tipoff led the Central Narcotics Bureau on Tuesday to a consignment of two treadmills at a shipping company. Sending such heavy and bulky exercise equipment via costly air freight to Japan raised suspicions, and a search of the consignment found packets of methamphetamine concealed within steel tubing.

    The police subsequently found 10 other treadmills similarly stuffed with methamphetamine at a Bangkok warehouse rented by the Thai man. The drugs have an approximate street value of about $89 million.

    The man was arrested on suspicion of attempting to export illicit drugs. He denies the charges.

    Smuggling of stimulant drugs to Japan appears to be on the rise. The Thai police announced Wednesday the seizure of about 8 kg of methamphetamine hidden in two wall clocks that were to be shipped to Osaka.

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