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Japanese man arrested for alleged embezzlement, money laundering

2018/04/20 20:18:29

Taipei, April 20 (CNA) A Japanese man wanted in Japan for alleged embezzlement and money laundering was arrested in Kaohsiung on Thursday, according to the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

Yang Kuo-sung (楊國松), chief of the 1st Investigation Corps of the CIB's International Criminal Affairs Division, said at a press conference Friday that his team worked with Japanese police to apprehend 45-year-old Yoshimoto Nakazawa.

Nakazawa was wanted for allegedly embezzling money from his former company, automotive parts supplier Sankyo, starting in 2003 and laundering it through purchases of jewelry and other luxury goods.

During this time, he and his 52-year-old Taiwanese wife, surnamed Lu (呂), purposely got a divorce to throw the police off the money trail.

The company did not become aware that Nakazawa was stealing from it until he stopped showing up to work in January 2014, when it discovered he had embezzled 2.5 billion yen (US$23.23 million), according to police.

Japanese police investigated the case and found that he left the country with his ex-wife to come to Taiwan, which is when they contacted Taiwan's CIB for help.

Yang's team found that Nakazawa was hiding out in Kaohsiung's Niaosong District, where his ex-wife's household is registered.

The police tracked Nakazawa down and kept close tabs on his movements, finding that he purchased three luxury apartments for a total of NT$48 million and regularly went to five-star hotels to dine and shop with Lu.

Nakazawa seemed to have become aware that he was being followed by the police and went to the National Immigration Agency in Taipei on Thursday to pay a fee for overstaying his visa in Taiwan so he could leave the country.

It was then that the police arrested him and raided his apartment, where they found a large amount of jewelry and other luxury products.

Both Nakazawa and his ex-wife are being investigated by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors Office for money laundering.

(By Liu Chien-pang and Kuan-lin Liu)
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