A suspected drug importer who allegedly used Bitcoin to pay his Mexican suppliers has been arrested in Japan, police said Friday, in reportedly the country’s first case of its kind.
Police forces in Tokyo and the southwestern city of Fukuoka teamed up for the operation to arrest Ayumu Teramoto, 38, on suspicion of buying a “stimulant drug” from abroad, a spokesman for Tokyo Metropolitan Police said.
It has not been reported what the actual drug was, but the phrase “stimulant drug” is often used to describe substances such as cocaine or methamphetamine.
Media outlets in Japan have said it was the first time someone had been arrested in the country for a drug transaction that involved Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has not really been adopted by the country, but received a lot media attention by the recent collapse of MtGox once the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange which was based in Japan.
Ayumu Teramoto apparently used Bitcoin to buy around 50 grams of the drug, worth 3.5 million yen ($34,500), NHK said citing police sources.
The package was reported to have arrived at Narita airport near Tokyo, concealed inside a tablet computer.
Police officials refused to discuss any details of the suspected deal, only confirming that the suspect used an online service to import the drug via the United States and was arrested on Wednesday.
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