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Two arrested for possession of military bayonets

Date Posted: 2003-09-27

Okinawa Prefectural Police Monday staged multiple raids on locations suspected of having illegal weapons of the type that killed a JASDF member a month ago. More than 160 Okinawa Prefectural Police struck 24 different locations in an operation aimed at associates of the late JASF MSgt Takio Tamura. Tamura was killed when an anti-tank rocket that he had been working on exploded.

Police suspected that Tamura’s associates and friends, who reportedly shared an interest in military goods, had similar illegal weapons in their possession. Police had identified nine people--all described as good friends with Tamura--for the search. All were known to have been actively involved in trading of used goods at Chibana Flea Market, where Tamura also had a shop.

During the searches police found and confiscated five military bayonets from a warehouse in Nishihara Town and a thrift shop in Ginowan City. The owners of the warehouse and the shop were arrested on suspicion of violating the Swords and Firearms Control Law.

Officials say that both suspects frequently visited the flea market in Okinawa City that dealt with military surplus articles and were acquaintances of Tamura.

Police also found several military-style cartridges and Rocket propelled grenade shells, none of which was active. Now, investigators are interested in figuring out how these U.S. made military items found their way to the people under investigation.

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