A trade ministry official arrested

A trade ministry official who was arrested last month on suspicion of attempting to smuggle a stimulant from the United States may have used drugs at his workplace, an investigative source said Thursday.

Several syringes were seized during a recent raid from the desk of Tetsuya Nishida, 28, deputy director of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry’s automobile division, and police are now investigating whether he used stimulants at the office, the source said.

The police arrested the career-track bureaucrat on April 27 at his Tokyo home as he received a dummy package, the original of which contained the illegal substance but was intercepted and replaced by investigators.

Nishida initially denied the allegation, saying he was not aware of the content of the parcel, but later admitted that he had tried to obtain the stimulant for personal use, the source said.

The bureaucrat was quoted as saying that he had taken psychoactive drugs to deal with stress from work, but began to use stimulants “in search of more powerful effects,” according to the source.

The suspect also said that he smuggled stimulants purchased through overseas websites for personal use and payments were made using bitcoin, the source said.

The police said the original package arrived in Japan on April 15, in which they found 22 grams of a stimulant with a street value of about 1.32 million yen ($12,000) in a plastic bag that had been stashed between the pages of a fashion magazine.

The package was addressed to another location, but Nishida, who entered the ministry in 2013, instructed the postal service to deliver it to his home instead, according to the police.

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