Toyota exec arrested: Toyota Julie Hamp
Published: June 19, 2015
Toyota exec arrested: Toyota Julie Hamp, The president of Toyota Motor Corp. vigorously defended global communications chief Julie Hamp one day after her arrest Thursday for allegedly receiving narcotic painkillers in the mail.
Hamp, 55, who was formerly head of communications in North America and handled information about Toyota’s move to Plano, is now based in Japan and is the company’s first female upper-level executive.
Akio Toyoda, who described Hamp as a “close friend,” said he is confident that she will be exonerated once the investigation is complete.
In a press conference today, he described Hamp as an “invaluable member of Toyota’s team.”
“We are confident that once the investigation is complete, it will be revealed there was no intention on Julie’s part to violate any law,” Toyoda said.
Japan’s stringent drug laws prohibit even over-the-counter drugs from being mailed to individuals.
Oxycodone was found by customs officials in a package Hamp sent to herself by airmail from the U.S. The drugs were allegedly hidden in various parts of a jewelry box, according to Japanese media reports.
While oxycodone is a legally prescribed medicine in the U.S. and Japan, its import is heavily controlled by Japanese law.
Toyota officials declined to say whether Hamp had a prescription for the oxycodone or a medical condition that necessitated its use.
Hamp, a former General Motors and PepsiCo executive, told police she did not think she had imported an illegal substance, Japanese police said.
She came to Toyota three years ago and was appointed managing officer and chief communications officer for Toyota Motor Corp. in Japan in April.
“For me and for Toyota, she is an indispensable and precious teammate,” Toyoda said at a press conference today. “I believe that we will learn that she had no intent to violate the law.”
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