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Ex-postal employee spent embezzled funds on ‘female acquaintances’

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former postal employee over the alleged embezzlement of nearly 300 million yen in postage stamps, reports Jiji Press (Mar. 8).

Between May 2015 and March 2016, Masaki Hosobata, then an accounting section manager at the Shiba Post Office, allegedly missappropriated about 1,797,100 million stamps valued at around 85.8 million yen.

Upon his arrest on suspicion of corporate embezzlement on Monday, Hosobata admitted to the allegations. “I set aside [some of the funds] for female acquaintances and entertainment expenses,” the suspect said.

According to the Atago Police Station, the stamps embezzled by the suspect are a type bought by companies in order to pay postage in advance.

Masaki Hosobata (Twitter)

Hosobata converted the stamps to cash at ticket shops. On about 80 trips to such shops, he converted the 1,791,100 stamps into 67 million yen.

The arrest is the second for Hosobata. On February 16, police first accused him of embezzling about 2 million stamps valued at around 94 million yen.

Last year, Japan Post Holdings Co. claimed with police that Hosobata embezzled a total of about 270 million yen in stamps beginning in the summer of 2014.