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Alleged kidnapper of Tokyo boy sent to prosecutors.

TOKYO, Oct. 17 Kyodo

The police sent a cram school operator to the prosecutors on Wednesday on suspicion of kidnapping a 7-year-old boy in Tokyo's Itabashi Ward, investigators said.

Yoshikazu Ueno, 38, was arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of abducting Yuta Seto as the primary school first grader was on his way to school Monday morning.

According to the police, Ueno inquired at a private parcel delivery center in Shinjuku Ward shortly before or after releasing the boy just before 4 p.m. Monday if the center had received a package.

The boy was released unharmed Monday afternoon, about eight hours after he was kidnapped and after his mother handed over a 5 million yen ransom to a motorcycle courier.

The bike messenger arrived at the center with the cash shortly after 4 p.m. but nobody came to pick it up, the police said.

Ueno told investigators he set the boy free because he was crying and his mother sounded distraught when he spoke with her on the phone to make arrangements for the ransom, the police said.

He also suspected that the police were already on the case and decided not to pick up the ransom, the police said.

Ueno is a resident of Nerima Ward, which neighbors Itabashi Ward, and runs a cram school. The cram school's only pupil was the kidnapped boy's 9-year-old sister.

According to the police, Ueno said he needed money because he has some 10 million yen in debts, including housing loan repayments.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Oct 22, 2001
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