Julie Hamp, who resigned her position as Toyota’s first female senior manager just one month after receiving the appointment, is to be released from police custody, according to a report by Kyodo News.
Hamp was arrested a few days after relocating from the US to Tokyo, Japan, to take over her new role because she allegedly violated the country’s strict drug policy. Kyodo said the prosecutors didn’t have enough evidence to come up with an indictment in her case, though the information was coming from anonymous sources. Neither Toyota nor the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office confirmed the report so far. Hamp, 55, has been arrested just as Toyota’s president Akio Toyoda has been pushing for management strategy changes – in favor of a more international organization that would also for the first time accept female high ranking executives. The company allowed Hamp to resign from her duties as chief communications officer around two weeks after Toyoda announced in a press conference they were confident she hadn’t intentionally violated Japanese law.
She was detained starting June 18 after allegedly importing prescription painkillers that need to be carefully approved for personal use before being brought into the country. Hamp had her father send 57 tablets with the pain medication oxycodone to a Tokyo hotel where she was staying, reported Kyodo News, citing a Tokyo police representative. “The Japanese police agency is getting more and more strict with drug cases recently,” comments Hiroaki Okamoto, an attorney at Nakamura International Criminal Defense LPC in Tokyo. Japan, with 127 million inhabitants, charged 13,121 persons with drug-related crimes last year, a record for the decade, shows data from the National Police Agency.