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Korean-run credit group staff allegedly embezzled funds.

OSAKA, Oct. 12 Kyodo

Credit Union Kansai Kogin, an Osaka-based credit association for Korean residents, has dismissed two employees for allegedly embezzling some 92 million yen collected from customers, officials at the institution said Monday.

The credit union plans to file a criminal complaint against the two -- a 28-year-old former section chief and a 26-year-old staff member at the same section -- with police on charges of embezzlement.

The former section chief allegedly misappropriated some 32 million yen -- by not paying money collected from a customer into the customer's account at the cooperative and later closing the account without notifying the customer -- between February and July.

The section member embezzled some 60 million yen from another customer between September last year and July this year using similar methods, they said.

After the two customers asked the credit union about the balance of their accounts, the institution discovered the alleged embezzlement and dismissed the employees, while imposing salary cuts and other measures on eight executives.

The two former employees have blown part of the money in restaurants and bars, according to the officials. The former section member has repaid 15 million yen to the union and plans to refund the rest, they said.

The credit cooperative told Kyodo News that it will instruct its staff to prevent any similar incidents.

Kansai Kogin was inaugurated in 1993 as its predecessor Osaka Kogin, established in 1955, merged with four other credit unions operated by South Korean residents in western Japan.

With deposits worth some 1.1 trillion yen, it is one of the largest credit unions in Japan and has about 63,000 member customers.
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Publication:Asian Economic News
Date:Oct 19, 1998
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