On July 4, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) Organized Crime Control Bureau’s Administration Section arrested four men and women, including Yoshito Saka (sp?) (51), a board member at a company located at 2 Tatsumi, Koto Ward, Tokyo, on suspicion of fraud and violation of the Organized Crime Punishment Act (concealment of crime proceeds). The suspects are thought to have used business email compromise (BEC) to pretend to be business partners or senior members of a U.S. agricultural company and had [a member of that company] wire about 78 million yen to a bank account. The suspects are thought to have then withdrawn 60.2 million yen from the account.
In recent years, BEC has become commonplace overseas as well. In BEC, criminals pretending to be leaders or senior members of the [targeted] company send email demanding the email recipient remit a large amount of cash to a fake bank account. According to investigation sources, the TMPD is working with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to elucidate the case in question.
According to the Organized Crime Control Bureau’s Administration Section, Manami Aizawa (sp?) (51), a board member at a company located at 2 Tatsumi, Koto Ward, Tokyo, was also among the four arrested. The embezzled money was remitted to a domestic bank account in the name of the company where Aizawa is representative director. She was arrested on charges of making it appear as if the money which she had illegally had the agricultural company remit had been earned through legitimate business transactions. She is thought to have withdrawn a total of 60.2 million yen from the account from July 4 to July 21 last year.