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Embezzlement shakes tiny southern island

Date Posted: 2009-01-08

The city office director of tiny Irabu Island tried asking for retirement, but instead found himself under arrest and charged with embezzling ¥480,000.
Kei Kakinohana was taken into custody by Miyakojima City Police and Okinawa Prefecture Police earlier this week and charged with taking the cultivation money from Irabu Town’s Agricultural Group and using it for personal gain. In confessing, he told police “I did it to buy furniture for my house.” The 57-year-old director had sought retirement before his arrest, but the request was denied by the Miyakojima City Office, which refused to accept it, instead giving Kakinohana a paid holiday.
Investigators say Kakinohana stole the money last May, transferring money Irabu Town received as rental fees for an agricultural machine into his own bank account. That money was supposed to have been used to pay a firm for removing stones from a farm yard, then clean the farm yard for the agricultural association.
The group, which was to have received the money, appealed to police for an investigation after it didn’t get paid. Police quickly sorted the money laundering out, and made the arrest, leaving Irabu Town citizens and city office staff shocked at learning their leader was a crook.

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