A Japanese man wanted in Japan for allegedly embezzling and laundering money was arrested in Kaohsiung on Thursday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said.
Yang Kuo-sung (楊國松), chief of the First Investigation Corps of the International Criminal Affairs Division, on Friday told a news conference that his team worked with Japanese police to apprehend 45-year-old Yoshimoto Nakazawa.
Nakazawa is wanted for allegedly embezzling money from his former company, automotive parts supplier Sankyo Seimitsu, police said.
He started embezzling the money in 2003 and laundered it by purchasing jewelry and other luxury goods, they added.
During this time, he and his Taiwanese wife, surnamed Lu (呂), 52, purposely got a divorce to throw the police off their money trail, police said.
The company did not notice that Nakazawa was stealing from it until he stopped showing up for work in January 2014 and it discovered he had embezzled ￥2.5 billion (US$23.23 million at the current exchange rate), they said.
Japanese police discovered that he left the country with his ex-wife to come to Taiwan, which is when they contacted the bureau for help.
Yang’s team found Nakazawa in Kaohsiung’s Niaosong District (鳥松), where his ex-wife’s household is registered.
The police monitored Nakazawa’s movements and discovered that he had purchased three luxury apartments totaling NT$48 million (US$1.63 million) and regularly went to five-star hotels to dine and shop with Lu, they said.
Nakazawa seemed to notice that he was being followed and on Thursday went to the National Immigration Agency in Taipei to pay a fine for overstaying his visa in Taiwan, police said, adding that it appeared as if he wanted to leave the nation.
Police then arrested him and raided his apartment, where they found a large amount of jewelry and other luxury products, they said.
Nakazawa and his ex-wife are being investigated by the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office on suspicion of money laundering.
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