DJ David Morales arrested at Japan airport on suspicion of smuggling MDMA

American producer held after authorities allegedly find trace amount of ecstasy in suitcase

Tom Barnes
Sunday 07 October 2018 15:01 BST
Morales has produced and remixed tracks with more than 500 artists
Morales has produced and remixed tracks with more than 500 artists (Getty)

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas


DJ David Morales has been arrested in Japan on suspicion of drug smuggling after customs officials claimed they discovered ecstasy in his suitcase.

Authorities allegedly found a small number of granules of the euphoria-inducing drug in the Grammy Award-winner’s luggage during a search at Fukuoka airport.

Police have reportedly accused the 56-year-old American of smuggling around 0.3 grams of MDMA into the country when he arrived on a flight from Hong Kong on Saturday.

“He was arrested for allegedly violating the law on narcotics and psychotropics control,” a police spokesman told AFP.

According to Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbun, Morales has denied any wrongdoing.

The newspaper said the DJ had told police the drug did not belong to him and had likely been slipped into his case by someone else.

Morales had been scheduled to perform in Tokyo on Saturday, but reportedly stopped in Fukuoka, on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, to meet with the event’s organisers.

Considered one of the biggest DJs of his era, Morales has headlined bills at clubs across the world during the course of his career.

He has remixed and produced more than 500 releases for artists such as Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, U2 and Whitney Houston.

The DJ won the 1999 Grammy Award for best remixed recording for his club mix of My All by Mariah Carey.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in