Last month, police officers in Osaka City arrested a drug dealer in possession of marijuana, who had been waiting at a pre-arranged meeting point outside of a train station to make a sale to a customer who hadn’t yet shown up. As the dealer was arrested and taken into custody, a group of YouTubers who were nearby live-streamed the whole thing, then left the video for viewing on their YouTube channel.
As luck would have it, this same team of YouTubers, a group of four Japanese men in their 20s and 30s, was also within filming distance of a different marijuana dealer’s arrest in Osaka last August, which they also live-streamed and uploaded to their channel. Except, it turns out luck had nothing to do with it. It has since come to light that in both cases, the “customers” the dealers were waiting for were none other than the YouTubers themselves, who’d contacted them saying they wanted to score some pot, then anonymously tipped off the police that a drug deal was going down.
It’s unclear how much of the YouTubers’ motivation came from an overactive sense of justice and how much from the potential of earning some extra cash through their monetized YouTube channel. What is clear, though, is that they broke the law, and the Osaka Prefectural Police have now filed charges against all four of them.
It doesn’t take a master detective to see how the YouTubers’ plan got them in trouble with the law. Since they were the ones who made contact with the dealers, promised to give them money in exchange for drugs, and told them where and when to meet up for the exchange, the YouTubers themselves were the triggering factor in the whole illegal affair.
The specific charge being leveled against them “incitement to possess cannabis for commercial purposes,” and could theoretically complicate the legal cases against the drug dealers themselves. Even if it doesn’t, the police don’t take kindly to citizens setting up their own unsanctioned extrajudicial sting operations, and Osaka’s public prosecutors say they plan to throw the book at the four YouTubers.
Source: Livedoor News/Jiji via Jin, Yahoo! Japan News/Tospo Web, NHK
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