Thursday, April 5, 2007

Dior chef gets busted

One of Christian Dior’s most senior executives in Japan was arrested yesterday over an alleged attempt to smuggle cocaine through the post.
Guillaume Monnier, a 37-year old Frenchman and the vice-president of Dior’s Japanese subsidiary, was arrested along with his wife, Isabelle, who is accused of hiding cannabis in her fridge.
The incident is expected to deal a heavy blow to Christian Dior’s image in Japan, a country where haute couture fashion brands from Europe are worshipped by millions and whose stores occupy the most exclusive addresses in Tokyo.

Police arrived at Mr Monnier’s Tokyo home after a tip-off from customs officers who intercepted a parcel, allegedly sent by Mr Monnier to his own address in Japan while on a business trip in Paris.
The package allegedly contained 8.8 grams of cocaine and prompted police to raid Mr Monnier’s apartment, where they discovered a further 4 grams of cannabis resin hidden in the fridge. Ms Monnier, who was in the house at the time, was also arrested. Her husband was reported as saying that the cannabis had probably been left in the house by friends. Mr Monnier, Tokyo police told Japanese media, had told them that the cocaine was for personal use and admitted that he was a long-term user of the drug.
In a country where drug possession and smuggling are severely punished, the couple could face prison sentences of several years, followed by a life ban from Japan. The possession of a small quantity of cannabis, which is viewed more leniently in some European countries, can mean jail in Japan.

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