TOKYO - Some 30 dog heads were found discarded in a moat near Tokyo's main detention center, police said Friday.
Police are investigating the bizarre incident outside the Tokyo Detention Center on suspicion of violation of animal protection law and vandalism, an official at nearby Kameari Police Department said.
The severed heads were mostly decomposed and some of them were skeletal, the police official said. The shape and size of the heads suggested they were of adult dogs, he said, adding that investigators believed no human heads were included.
He said police were planning on removing the heads from the water.
Late Friday, an 82-year-old man who runs a neighborhood meat shop admitted to dumping the dog heads into the moat, and police are questioning him, public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News agency said.
The man, whose name was not released, told police that he imported the dogs — frozen and already separated into heads and bodies — from China to sell as food, Kyodo said. All the torsos had been sold, and as there was little interest in the heads, the butcher said he dumped them in the moat, hoping they would be eaten by the fish.
Police were not available late Friday to comment on the report.
The case surfaced after a passer-by found a head inside a shallow moat just outside the detention center and reported it to police.