TOKYO — Fashion-show producer Etienne Russo was indicted in Japan on Friday on charges of cannabis smuggling after being arrested weeks prior, according to reports by Japanese media.
Customs officials at Narita Airport outside of Tokyo are said to have found a liquid that they believe was extracted from cannabis, packed in Russo’s luggage. The founder of Villa Eugénie entered the country on Nov. 30 for the Dior men’s pre-fall fashion show that was held in Tokyo. He is said to have been seen at the show, but has been in custody since early December.
Russo and his event production firm Villa Eugénie are popular among luxury brands, having worked on shows not only for Dior but also for brands including Hermes, Thom Browne and Dries Van Noten. He makes a brief appearance in the new Netfilx series “7 Days Out” documenting preparations for a Chanel couture show.
Japan has very strict drug control laws, with zero tolerance and tough penalties for offenders. Use and possession of cannabis is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine, whereas cultivation, sale and transport are punishable by up to 7 to 10 years in prison and a fine.
Russo will be held