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U.S. soldier, civilian sent to prosecutors over currency exchange robbery

OKINAWA (TR) – Okinawa Prefectural Police on Tuesday sent a U.S. soldier and civilian from Kadena Air Base to prosecutors over the alleged robbery of 7 million yen from a currency exchange shop in the town of Chatan earlier this month, reports NHK (May 26).

According to police, the two suspects are Demetrius Morton Jr., a 21-year-old private first class, and 34-year-old civilian Hassan Smith.

At around 4 p.m. on May 12, the suspects, both wearing masks, used at least one knife to threaten an employee of the shop, located near the front gate at Camp Foster.

After demanding money, the pair fled with the equivalent of around 7 million yen in Japanese and U.S. currency.

There were no injuries, police said.

A staff member and a civilian from Kadena Air Base allegedly robbed a currency exchange shop in the town of Chatan on May 12 (NHK)

After the incident, Okinawa police requested that U.S. forces cooperate in the investigation based on the Japan-U.S. Status Agreement.

On May 15, local media showed a U.S. military police escorting a soldier into an Okinawa police station.

“The U.S. military on Okinawa works closely with local police on a daily basis and will continue to cooperate in this matter,” Kadena’s 18th Wing said in a statement on May 15, according to Stars and Stripes. “We take these matters very seriously and will ensure members are held accountable if they are found to be involved in criminal activities.”