Toyota Executive Julie Hamp was arrested Thursday after allegedly using a parcel service to ship Oxycodone to Tokyo. While the drug is legal in the United States, it is currently classified as a narcotic in Japan, according to CNN.
Hamp violated the Narcotics Control Act, which limits the possession and transport of drugs classified as illegal in the country of origin.
When informed of her arrest, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said he was “sorry that a senior executive had caused such controversy but she was an indispensable colleague that the company believed in.”
“Through the investigation, I believe that we will learn she had no intent to violate the law,” he said.
Fifty-seven pills were discovered inside a package that Hamp had mailed to herself from Kentucky, according to NPR. She declared the package as a necklace.
“The high-profile stumble of a media-savvy executive, so early in the game, is an embarrassment for the automaker. Toyota had highlighted Hamp’s appointment with much fanfare as a sign that it was promoting diversity,” The Associated Press writes.
The US Embassy in Japan has very explicit warning signs about bringing prescription drugs to other countries.
“It is illegal to bring into Japan some over-the-counter medicines commonly used in the United States, including inhalers and some allergy and sinus medications,” the website reads.
Drugs.com classifies Oxycodone as an opioid medication that is used to moderate and control severe pain.