According to Japan’s Kyodo News, police officers searched the headquarters of Toyota Motor Corp. in Toyota City and Tokyo in connection with the recent arrest of a senior manager suspected of illegally bringing prescription drugs into the country.
Tokyo Metropolitan Police conducted the search on Tuesday, according to the report, which cited sources from within the investigation, as the officials searched for evidence in the narcotics-law violations case. Julie Hamp, Toyota’s chief communications officer, was taken into custody last week as she was allegedly importing the pain medication oxycodone. Hamp, 55, denied being involved in the narcotics violation, according to police. The arrest held front page-news in Japan and around the world, as the country is known to have very few foreigners and women within top corporate positions. Toyota president and CEO Akio Toyoda decided to promote Hamp as the company’s first female managing officer in April, coming from the same position for the North American region. She had worked for General Motors in the past and came to the largest automaker in the world in April, after working before 2012 for PepsiCo Inc.
A spokesperson for the company said no comments would be made by the automaker while the executive was still under investigation, but on Friday during a press conference Toyota President Akio Toyoda said he was confident Hamp was not breaking the law intentionally. Japan designates the prescription drug oxycodone as a narcotic, with users only allowed to import it after getting permission from the health and welfare ministry, says the Narcotics Control Department.