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Saitama: Man nabbed over alleged theft of 1,800 masks

SAITAMA (TR) – With shortages of breathing masks coinciding with the rise of the number of cases of novel coronavirus nationwide, Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested a 20-year-old man over the alleged theft of nearly 2,000 masks, reports NHK (Mar. 9).

On February 29, Rei Ueda, a company employee, allegedly stole 1,800 masks from a warehouse at a shipping company in Yashio City.

“I wanted to send the stolen masks to relatives living in Hokkaido,” the suspect was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.

Ueda, a resident of the town of Matsubushi, works at a subsidiary of
the shipping company, police said.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said that as of Sunday the total number of cases of coronavirus had reached 1,152.

The figure includes 696 persons from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at Yokohama Port. Of the cases not connected to the ship, Hokkaido has the most with 101.