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Police to send papers on M'bishi Real Estate over contaminated condo.

OSAKA, Dec. 14 Kyodo

The police have decided to send papers to prosecutors on Mitsubishi Real Estate Services Co. on suspicion of selling a condominium unit at Osaka Amenity Park knowing that the property's premises were contaminated by heavy metals, informed sources said Monday.

The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Estate Co. and has allegedly sold the condo within the OAP Residence Tower at the park in Osaka's Kita Ward.

The park is a multi-purpose complex in Kita Ward which was built by Mitsubishi Estate and Mitsubishi Materials Corp. in 2001.

The police suspect that top executives of Mitsubishi Estate and Mitsubishi Materials have conspired to conceal the heavy metal contamination, the sources said.

The police suspect that Mitsubishi Real Estate Services sold one of the condominium units in the OAP Residence Tower to a man in his 50s in December 2001 even though they knew that such heavy metals as arsenic, selenium and cadmium exceeding the environmentally acceptable levels had been detected at the premises.

After the buyer filed a complaint, the police searched the Osaka branches of three Mitsubishi group companies on Oct. 28 and the houses of nine Mitsubishi executives, including a former president of Mitsubishi Real Estate Services and a managing director of Mitsubishi Estate, on Nov. 16.

The police also searched the headquarters of the three Mitsubishi companies on Nov. 22, the sources said, adding the police plan to continue questioning those involved in the case.

The police have decided to send papers to prosecutors only on Mitsubishi Real Estate Services because the three-year statute of limitations in the case is about to expire.

The police suspect that many people who bought condominium units in the residential tower, which has about 450 units, were not told about the contamination, according to the sources.

The OAP complex houses the Imperial Hotel Osaka, the MM Building, also known as Osaka Office Building, and two luxurious condominiums.

The Mitsubishi companies are suspected of concealing the heavy metal contamination even after an environmental survey in 1997 revealed that soil and underground water samples in the premises were contaminated.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Geographic Code:9JAPA
Date:Dec 20, 2004
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