7 AUM cultists busted for illegally selling skin cream

Mainichi Shimbun - Japan/June 3, 2004

Seven members of the AUM Shinrikyo cult were arrested Thursday for selling anti-atopic dermatitis cream without permission, Tokyo police said.

Takashi Inoue, 35, head of the cult's Tokyo training hall, and others are accused of violating the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law. Two others under arrest for producing the illegal drugs were served with new arrest warrants accusing them of selling the cream.

Investigators from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) also raided about 20 locations related to the cult to see if the cult used the proceeds from sales of the illegal drugs to raise funds for its activities.

Inoue and the eight others sold 63 sets of cream that they claim is effective in curing anti-atopic dermatitis to 12 people between March last year and April this year without permission from the Tokyo governor, the MPD said. They netted about 500,000 yen from the sales.

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Investigators suspect that the cultists have sold about 5,900 sets of the cream for a combined amount of about 47 million yen.

Some customers who used the cream complained that their skin became chapped because of side-effects from steroids used in the cream.

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