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Mailman fired for stealing money envelopes

Date Posted: 2002-07-13

A chief letter carrier of the Ozato Village post office was discovered to have stolen several cash-containing envelopes from the mail he was supposed to deliver to recipients.

According to Okinawa General Telecommunications Office investigation, Jun Uehara, 47, of Nishihara Town, who had worked in Ozato Post Office since Aug. 2000, had kept all cash envelopes that he was supposed to carry since last November. He had stolen ¥420,000 in total from the envelopes.

The theft was discovered in June when the post office started getting complaints from customers who had been waiting for cash to arrive. A total of 22 customers filed a complaint. Ozato Post Office then contacted the Okinawa General Telecommunications Office, whose investigators concluded that Uehara had taken the money.

When the investigators confronted Uehara he confessed. He said that he had used the money for his personal expenses. Uehara was immediately fired from his position. Investigators also sent a report on the case to the Public Prosecutors’ Office who will decide whether to take the case to the criminal court.

In Japan, a popular way of sending cash is using so called “genkin kakitome” or “cash letter” in English. People wanting to send cash to someone simply go to the nearest post office, stuff the cash in the envelope and the pot office will sign for it. It is then carried to the receiver who again signs it off. The system is convenient and usually very reliable.

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