Police in northern Thailand have arrested a Japanese national and four Thais on suspicion of illegally cultivating cannabis.

The police say 41-year-old Komiya Katsuhisa, a graduate student at a university in Chiang Mai, was arrested on Saturday along with four Thai men allegedly hired by him.

The police raided a building in Chiang Mai that they believe was used to grow cannabis. They seized 128 cannabis plants, as well as dry cannabis.

They say Komiya tweeted photos and information in Japanese about growing and using cannabis. They suspect he was selling the drug to people in Japan.

Police say Komiya denies some of the allegations, and maintains that he cultivated cannabis for research purposes.

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