6 AUM Members Held Over Unlicensed Medicine Sales

Senior AUM Shinrikyo cult member Naruhito Noda and five other members were arrested Tuesday over the alleged involvement of AUM members in unlicensed sales of medicines.

The police raided 47 related locations in Tokyo, Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures and arrested the six on suspicion of violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law. Eight other people were indicted in June in the similar case.

Police officials said they intend to pursue the cult’s organized involvement and to investigate the case also on suspicion of fraud, believing profits from the sales went to the cult.

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Noda, 37, is refusing to answer police questions, they said. He is one of the five senior members in charge of running the cult, which has renamed itself Aleph.

The eight people already indicted include Kiyoshi Nakano, 36, a used car dealer, and Takashi Inoue, 35, who heads the cult’s Tokyo training center.

According to the investigations, the suspects sold ointments imported from China to treat skin allergies and problems from cosmetics through the Internet and sales agents beginning in February last year to April this year without obtaining a license.

A total of 2,300 containers of ointment were allegedly sold to about 720 people, the police said.

The police believe the cult gained a profit of 4,500 yen per container costing 8,000 yen.

Senior members of the cult, including founder Shoko Asahara, have been convicted or are standing trial for the 1995 sarin gas attacks on Tokyo subway system.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
Kyodo News Service, Japan
July 6, 2004
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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday July 6, 2004.
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