American Toyota exec arrested in Japan on drug charges
An American Toyota executive has been arrested in Japan and accused of illegally importing undeclared narcotics.
US citizen Julie Hamp faces potential drug-smuggling charges after authorities intercepted a package containing oxycodone, an opioid painkiller, that was sent from the US. The shipment was allegedly labeled “necklaces” with pills separated into boxes of accessories, leading authorities to believe the drugs were intentionally concealed, according to The Japan Times.
“We believe that the investigation will reveal that Ms. Julie Hamp had no intention to violate the law,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda.
Serving as head of corporate communications, Hamp is said to have been the first female managing officer at Toyota when she was promoted in April. She is also among the most senior Westerners in the Japanese automaker’s ranks.
The executive is said to have been detained by authorities and held while the investigation continues. If the authorities decide to pursue charges, Hamp could face penalties of up to 10 years in prison.