Snowboard star Kokubo arrested for drug trafficking

Olympic athlete Kazuhiro Kokubo was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly smuggling US marijuana for a profit.

The narcotics control department of the Kanto-Shinetsu Regional Department of Health and Welfare also searched his house on the same day.

According to the department, Kokubo, 31, Chitose resident Hokkaido, appeared in the department building in the Chiyoda wing of Tokyo in the morning.

He largely admitted the charges against him but denied any intention to make a profit, informed sources said.

Kazuhiro Kokubo. Photo: Jiji Press

Kokubo is suspected of conspiring with a male acquaintance to smuggle about 57 grams of a US cannabis product in December from 2018 using an international express courier service.

The cannabis package was detected at customs at Narita Airport, addressed to a man-linked location in the western city of Musashimurayama.

The man, in his 30 years, was arrested last month. He was indicted for violating the marijuana control law.

Kokubo emerged as another suspect during the man's investigation.

Kokubo made his Olympic debut at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. He also participated in the Vancouver Olympics at 2010, finishing eighth at the men's halfpipe event.

Meanwhile, at the 2010 Games, he drew criticism for his extreme attire and behavior. The Japan Ski Association has temporarily requested its withdrawal.

Source: Asahi