American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

Flying High in Japan

Posted by Matt Cipriano | 2 Comments

I LOVE this story:

Towards the end of May, a drug dog at Narita Airport (Tokyo) failed to detect 142 grams (about 5 ounces) of pot in the side pocket of a passenger’s luggage. While this must be troubling for the Japanese officials, what is a bit more troubling is how they knew that the pot was in the bag in the first place.

Apparently, a quick-thinking customs official had the bright idea to break a couple of regulations and plant the pot in a unsuspecting passenger’s luggage in order to test the dog and improve its at-work performance. The dog, unfortunately, failed his at-work test and missed the drugs completely, though I have a feeling the dog isn’t going to get in too much trouble for this one, especially since the story continues.

Rather then quickly stopping the individual with the planted cannabis and retrieving it from the luggage, the customs official forgot which visitor’s bag he had placed the drugs in, losing about $10,000 worth of marijuana (which seems a bit high for 5 ounces, though Japan does have some of the strictest anti-drug laws in Asia). The customs officer offered this as his defense: “I knew that using passengers’ bags is prohibited, but I did it because I wanted to improve the sniffer dog’s abilities. The dogs have always been able to find it before.” Which leads to the question: How often have they played this little game?

“If by some chance passengers find it in their suitcase, we’re asking them to return it,” the customs department requests. It doesn’t come as much of a surprise (at least to me) that no one has yet stepped forward to return the drugs.

Who do you think is going to get in more trouble, the dog or the customs official (who only received a reprimand)?


2 Responses to “Flying High in Japan”

  1. Josh Friedlander
    June 18th, 2008 @

    A reprimand! For putting someone in danger of serious criminal prosecution if caught with the drugs! This man should be immediately fired and brought up on charges.

    As others have mentioned in commenting on the original site, this sounds like a scam by the official to deliver the drugs.

  2. Matt Friedlander
    June 18th, 2008 @

    Hey, things could be worse, the dog could have swiped it

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