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Woman held on suspicion of using anthrax scare in grudge.

TOKYO, Oct. 30 Kyodo

A Tokyo woman has been arrested on suspicion of sending mail containing white powder to a man who was dunning her to repay a loan, with intent to take advantage of the anthrax scare in the United States, police said Tuesday.

Kazumi Tsutsui, 35, a resident of Machida, western Tokyo, sent the sealed envelope containing about 50 grams of white powder Thursday to a 44-year-old male acquaintance in Tokyo's Toshima Ward, the police said.

The police said commotion ensued at the Toshima post office when it received the mail the next day and detected the powder, which looked like starch.

Employees were evacuated and the special antiterrorism unit of the Metropolitan Police Department was mobilized, with the post office's services subsequently disrupted for about two hours, the police said.

According to the police, Tsutsui, who is unemployed, wanted to take revenge on the man for pressing her to repay her debts.

In another incident Tuesday, a cleaner found white powder at around 8:20 a.m. on the floor of a regular train on the Sobu Line at the JR Chiba Station, east of Tokyo, railway officials said.

The powder is being investigated, but none of the passengers or employees have reported ill effects to their health, and train services were not disrupted, the police said.

As of Monday, there have been 120 anthrax scare cases reported in Japan, of which 50 referred to substances being sent through the mail and 70 to substances being scattered in public places, mainly in trains, the National Police Agency said.

In one of the cases, a 12-year-old primary school boy in Fukushima Prefecture sent white powder to a classmate as a prank, while in Hokkaido Prefecture, a 74-year-old woman may face prosecution over an anthrax scare hoax, the agency said.

In addition, there are more than 600 reported cases of mail being received from unknown senders abroad, it said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Nov 5, 2001
Words:320
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