Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tokyo cops nab ex-SMBC manager in ¥1.1 billion fraud

Hiroshi Minamibashi
Hiroshi Minamibashi

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former deputy branch manager at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking as a part of an account manipulation scam in which the damage to the company exceeds one billion yen, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Oct. 12).

On 17 occasions between November of last year and June, Hiroshi Minamibashi, 54, a former deputy manager of the bank’s Omori Branch in Ota Ward, is alleged to have received 190 million yen through the fraudulent manipulation of accounts in foreign currency transactions.

Minamibashi, who has been charged with online fraud, admits to the allegations. “I used the money for mistresses and school expenses for my children,” the suspect is quoted by the Omori Police Station, according to NHK (Oct. 12).

According to investigators, Minamibashi, who was prosecuted on September 29, is believed to have been pulling the same scam since 2007, when he discovered a defect within the bank’s foreign currency transaction system, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 12). The total losses to SMBC are believed to be 1.1 billion yen.

The matter emerged after the National Tax Agency launched an investigation in the middle of June. Minamibashi was fired by the bank on July 6.

According to an internal investigation by the bank, Minamibashi expressed regret. “In accepting the seriousness of the matter, and having deep regret, I would like to offer a profound apology to the customers and concerned parties.”