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Police officer fired over fake drug busts in Japan

Aichi Prefectural Police headquarters is seen in this file photo. (Mainichi/Hiroki Sameshima)

NAGOYA -- A police sergeant who handed acquaintances illegal stimulants to concoct drug busts for which he was commended was reported to public prosecutors on Oct. 16, facing accusations of possession and assignment of illegal stimulants and creating and using false official documents.

    Aichi Prefectural Police sent documents on the 36-year-old former sergeant, who had worked in the Community Police Affairs Division at Okazaki Police Station, to the Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office. He was fired the same day.

    The former officer is accused of questioning two acquaintances aged in their 30s and 40s on Feb. 5 and 23 after handing them and having them prepare sealable plastic bags containing remnants of stimulants, questioning them, then preparing a fake investigation report.

    He is also suspected of being in possession of a bag containing 0.005 grams of stimulants at his home on Aug. 30, although he denies the allegations. Due to the amount of stimulants being miniscule, among other reasons, the prefectural police questioned the former sergeant on a voluntary basis. On Oct. 16, prefectural police also sent public prosecutors papers on his two acquaintances, who are accused of breaking the Stimulants Control Act.

    At the end of March, a police car the former sergeant was riding in got into an accident causing property damage, but no report of the incident was filed, so prefectural police began an investigation. This led to the stimulants-related acts being uncovered.

    The former sergeant had gotten to know the acquaintances while working at a separate police station's Japanese Organized Crime Division in 2014, and there is evidence that they communicated on social media and other platforms on how to cooperate in the fake drug busts. Police have reportedly been unable to confirm if there was any remuneration or offers of help resulting from the two men's cooperation.

    Ryujiro Yoda, the prefectural police's chief inspector general, issued a statement saying, "We apologize deeply to the people of the prefecture."

    (Japanese original by Kazuki Sakuma, Nagoya News Center)

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