Over A Ton Of Stimulant Drugs Seized For 3rd Year

Over a ton of stimulant drugs seized for 3rd year

Japan's Finance Ministry says the volume of stimulant drugs confiscated last year stayed above one ton for the third straight year.

That happened for the first time since record taking began in 1985.

Officials say 1,156 kilograms of the illegal substances with a street value of about 630-million dollars were seized at airports and ports across Japan.

The figure edged down by 0.3 percent from the previous year.

Officials say large single hauls are the reason for the record-breaking amount of confiscated drugs.

In May, 28 kilograms were found kneaded into candles sent by international mail from China.

In April, a Japanese couple arriving from Kenya tried to smuggle 30 kilograms. That was the largest amount attempted on record by an airline passenger.

Meanwhile, customs officials thwarted 1,088 attempts to smuggle gold into the country last year. They confiscated 2,119 kilograms. That was 65 percent less than the previous year and marked a decline for the first time in seven years.

Ministry officials say their efforts to tighten control at ports of entry appear to be effective to a certain extent.