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Ex-Aomori housing exec transferred for questioning.

AOMORI, Japan, Dec. 18 Kyodo

(EDS: UPDATING WITH SUSPECT BEING TRANSFERRED TO AOMORI)

The Aomori prefectural police are set Tuesday to start interrogating a former accounting executive of Aomori Prefectural Housing Supply Public Corp., who was arrested in Tokyo late Monday on a charge of embezzling 1.42 billion yen from the housing authority.

Yuji Chida was found by an Aomori police detective in Tokyo's Roppongi area and served an arrest warrant around 11:30 p.m. Monday on suspicion of embezzling 23.6 million yen on two occasions in October from a bank account of the housing authority's president, the police said. He is being sent back to Aomori for questioning, they added.

Chida, 44, admitted to embezzling the 1.42 billion yen, of which 500 million yen is believed to have been sent to Chile to his wife, who he met in Aomori in 1997, investigative sources said.

The police suspect the 500 million yen was used to construct a luxury house and a restaurant among others and are considering sending investigators to Chile, the sources said.

Police officials said Chida had grown a beard and was wearing glasses when he was questioned by the detective about his identity. He had some 400,000 yen in cash at the time of his arrest, they added.

In late October, the housing authority filed a complaint with the police against Chida on suspicion he embezzled its funds by withdrawing a total of 1.42 billion yen from the corporation's five accounts on 121 occasions between 1994 and this October.

The housing authority dismissed Chida on Nov. 8 and lodged a 1.42 billion yen damages suit against him with the Aomori District Court, demanding provisional seizure of his property.

According to the arrest warrant served Monday, Chida allegedly withdrew 12 million yen Oct. 1 and 11.6 million yen two days later from the account held in the name of the housing authority's president, Masayoshi Yamaguchi, and embezzled the money.

The embezzlement case was uncovered by tax officials based in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, in late October. Soon after that time, Chida stopped going to work and had gone missing after having spent a night in a Tokyo hotel Oct. 29.
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Publication:Japan Policy & Politics
Date:Dec 24, 2001
Words:370
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