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Saitama cops nab waterworks official in ¥10 million bribery probe

Hozumi Kamoshida (right)
Hozumi Kamoshida (right)

SAITAMA (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police have made two arrests in a bribery probe involving bid-rigged waterworks contracts, reports Nippon News Network (Nov. 11).

In September of last year, Hozumi Kamoshida, the 60-year-old head of the Sakado Tsurugashima Water Supply Authority, of receiving a 200,000-yen bribe from Nobuyoshi Akiyama, the 48-year-old Kyowa Mizu Kankyo Systems, prior to a tender.

The tender in question was for maintenance and inspection work of equipment for the injection of disinfectant at a water treatment plant in Tsurugashima City.

The authority is a special local public body that carries out water supply projects in Sakado and Tsurugashima cities. Staff members are considered government employees.

According to police, the bribe was paid by Akiyama in exchange for information received prior to the tender to ensure the success of Kyowa Mizu Kankyo Systems.

The budget for the project was 14.41 million yen while the price submitted by the company was more than 90 percent of that figure, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Nov. 9).

Akiyama denies the charges. “In looking after (the authority), I thought I was helping make things go smoothly,” the suspect is quoted, according to Jiji Press (Nov. 9). Kamoshida admits to the allegations.

Over the past four years, Kyowa Mizu Kankyo Systems has received a total of one billion yen in orders from the authority.

Police are now investigating whether Kamoshida also provided inside information to Akiyama for other projects.