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Taiwan: Japanese national wanted over ¥2.5 billion embezzlement apprehended

Yoshimoto Nakazawa
Yoshimoto Nakazawa (Twitter)

TAIWAN (TR) – Police in the city of Kaohsiung last week arrested a male Japanese national wanted over a massive embezzlement from an automotive parts supplier where he worked, media in Taiwan reported.

On April 20, a chief of investigations said at a press conference that his office in conjunction with Japanese authorities had apprehended 45-year-old Yoshimoto Nakazawa.

According to police, Nakazawa allegedly embezzled 549.5 million yen from supplier Sankyo Seimitsu in January of 2014. The money was then laundered via purchases of jewelry and other high-end goods.

On a day last week, Nakazawa visited the National Immigration Agency in Taipei to take care of a fee for overstaying his visa so that he could leave Taiwan. Police believe he intended to flee the country to evade capture.

Police working through a request by authorities in Japan via the International Criminal Police Organization then apprehended Nakazawa. During a search of his apartment, investigators discovered jewelry and other high-end goods. Police also arrested his former wife, a 52-year-old Taiwanese national, in the case.

Hiding in Kaohsiung

The matter emerged in 2014, when Nakazawa stopped showing up to work. A subsequent internal investigation revealed that he had stolen a total of 2.5 billion yen since 2003, according to police.

Police later discovered that Nakazawa and his then wife had fled Japan for Taiwan. Local police subsequently found that he was hiding in Kaohsiung’s Niaosong District.

While in Kaohsiung, the suspect purchased three luxury apartments and often dined at high-end restaurants with his wife, whom he divorced at some point in order to complicate the progress of the investigation, according to police.

Prosecutors in Taiwan are also investigating Nakazawa and his wife on suspicion of money laundering.