TOKYO, June 25 (Itar-Tass) - Japanese police announced on Tuesday that it had seized a major batch of synthetic drugs with a total weight of 193 kilograms that was stashed in pieces of iron ore delivered from Mexico by sea in the Japanese port city Kobe.
In this connection two Mexican nationals and a local resident were arrested. They all plead not guilty.
The drugs were bagged in one-kilogram plastic bags, stashed in chunks of iron ore each weighing 15 to 30 kilograms. The drugs were found when customs officers X-rayed the cargo.
Police arrested the recipients of iron ore. According to experts, the seized batch of drugs costs on the black market about 14 million yens (almost 143 million dollars).
Drug flows from Mexico to Japan have been increasing of late. In 2008 only one such case was exposed, while in 2012 - there were already 24 such cases. There is a growing tendency towards supplying major batches of drugs. Early they were smuggled mainly in plane baggage or sent by international mail, but over the recent time contrabandists have been increasingly often using sea cargo containers.
Police say that Japan is a very attractive market for Latin American crime syndicates as drug prices are very high there.