A man of Indian descent, accused of smuggling approximately 2 kilograms of methamphetamine into Fukuoka Airport hidden in a suitcase, faced charges of violating the Stimulants Control Act and the Customs Act during a lay judge trial at the Fukuoka District Court on November 15. The court, ruling that there was no 'intentional smuggling,' acquitted the 72-year-old individual.
The accused arrived at Fukuoka Airport in February, transiting through Incheon International Airport in South Korea, and faced charges related to the alleged importation of around 2 kilograms of methamphetamine concealed in his suitcase.
Throughout the trial, the accused consistently asserted his innocence, emphasizing that he diligently checked the suitcase for any suspicious items before transporting it.
During the judgment hearing on the 15th, Presiding Judge Atsushi Tomita underscored a critical point: 'The presence of methamphetamine cannot be verified without dismantling the suitcase.' This observation suggested that if there were any suspicions of illegal contents, the accused likely would have declined to transport it to Japan.
The man faced charges of violating the Stimulants Control Act and the Customs Act by allegedly attempting to smuggle the stimulants for profit, and prosecutors sought a sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine of 4 million yen (approx. $26,400).
Ultimately, the judge concluded, 'There was no intention to intentionally import methamphetamine,' resulting in the acquittal of the accused. Deputy Chief Prosecutor Takashi Hosono of the Fukuoka District Public Prosecutors Office commented, 'We will carefully scrutinize the content of the judgment and determine an appropriate course of action.' This unexpected turn in the legal proceedings underscores the complexities and nuances of the justice system.