Pubdate: Thu, 4 Nov 1999
Source: Japan Times
Copyright: © 1999 Japan Times
Top cop in drug test coverup
YOKOHAMA (Kyodo) The scandal-tainted Kanagawa Prefectural Police department is again under fire as allegations have deepened that its former chief was involved in the coverup of an officer's use of stimulant drugs in 1996.
Motoo Watanabe and other former and current senior Kanagawa police officials have already been questioned over suspicions that they concealed the results of several urine tests on the 37-year-old assistant inspector. The officer, whose name has been withheld, tested positive for stimulant drugs in 1996 and was fired that December on grounds that he had had an extramarital affair, police sources said.
Although several tests showed that the officer tested positive for drugs, senior prefecture police officials at the time hid the results, the sources said.
The senior officials had the officer tested several more times until he eventually tested negative, and had those results submitted instead, they said.
At the advice of a senior official in charge of drug cases, senior officials were also allegedly involved in an attempt to avoid having the officer tried under the Stimulants Control Law, the sources said.
At the time, Kanagawa Prefecture was launching an antistimulant campaign following a series of drug busts involving high school students. It would have been too embarrassing for police to arrest an officer over drug use, the sources said.
Watanabe, the Kanagawa police chief at the time, and other top officials knew of the situation, the sources said.