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Husband’s moai leads to post office manager being fired for embezzlement

Date Posted: 2005-06-04

Postal inspectors made a routine surprise inspection at a small Miyako Island post office, only to discover money missing.

The Hisamatsu Post Office underwent a standard spot inspection, but postal inspectors did not expect to find \130,000 missing from office funds. The lady manager told stunned inspectors she’d borrowed the money for her husband, who needed it for his moai, a traditional Okinawan group gathering that meets monthly and shares money with one another.

The postal manager said she had planned to replace the money the following day, but inspectors didn’t buy her story. Instead, they fired the manager who was a 22-year veteran of the postal service and closed the post office.

Okinawa Central Post Office officials have already apologized to citizens for the mismanagement, and the Chief Inspector is promising his inspectors will be more diligent in safeguarding customers’ money in the future. Okinawa has 22 post offices managed by a single person.

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