Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'Macron-economy' pun already worn out

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

What Next for Gaza? Lasting Ceasefire Agreed After 50 Days of War

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Terrorist ransoms: Should governments pay up for hostages?

Read more

ENCORE!

Kristen Stewart and Juliette Binoche star in 'Clouds of Sils Maria'

Read more

WEB NEWS

India: journalist launches "Rice Bucket Challenge"

Read more

WEB NEWS

Russian aid convoy: Mission accomplished?

Read more

WEB NEWS

Actor Orlando Jones lauches 'Bullet Bucket Challenge'

Read more

  • Mother of American journalist asks IS leader for his release

    Read more

  • UN probe accuses Syrian regime, Islamists of ‘crimes against humanity’

    Read more

  • French unemployment rises 0.8% in July to record high

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande puts young ex-banker in top economy post

    Read more

  • Video: Iraq’s Yazidis flee to spiritual capital of Lalish

    Read more

  • Video: Milan is starting point for Syrian refugees’ European odyssey

    Read more

  • Airstrikes and Assad - Obama’s military conundrum in Syria

    Read more

  • IMF’s Lagarde investigated in French corruption case

    Read more

  • American journalist held captive in Syria arrives in US

    Read more

  • In pictures: The ministers in France's new government

    Read more

  • 'Lasting' ceasefire agreed for Gaza, Abbas says

    Read more

  • Far-right ‘Russian Jihad’ fighters cross into Ukraine

    Read more

  • Rebels 'shoot down' UN helicopter in South Sudan

    Read more

  • Air France pilots threaten September strike

    Read more

  • WHO seeks stricter regulation for e-cigarettes

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Executive in $1.4 billion fraud probe

Latest update : 2009-02-06

A Japanese businessman has been arrested for allegedly swindling at least $1.4 billion from investors while promising a 36% annual return on investment in his company, which issued its own form of electronic money.

AFP - Japanese police said Thursday they arrested an executive who built a cult-like status among thousands of investors whom he reportedly scammed out of at least 1.4 billion dollars.
  
Kazutsugi Nami, chairman of now bankrupt bedding supplier L&G K.K. of Tokyo, had promised a 36 percent annual return on investment and his company issued its own form of electronic money.
  
The 75-year-old swindled 37,000 investors out of a total of 126 billion yen, the Jiji Press news agency reported. Some other media estimated the alleged scam could have been worth as much as 226 billion yen (2.5 billion dollars).
  
A police spokesman said Nami had been arrested but declined to confirm the size of the suspected fraud.
  
The businessman earlier told a swarm of reporters that he had done nothing wrong.
  
"Let me have breakfast," he said. "I'm leading 50,000 people. Can they charge a company this big with fraud?" he said, having a large glass of beer in a local restaurant at about 5:30 am.
  
Asked if he was sorry for his investors, he replied: "No! I have put my life at stake," before being led away by the police shortly afterwards.
  
Nami's company introduced its own electronic money, which was fed into investors' cellphones and used to buy items ranging from futons to vegetables, clothes and jewellery at bazaars and online shops.
  
The money was called "enten", apparently a combination of the Japanese words for the yen currency and paradise.
  
People who put up cash one time for the company got the same sum of enten in exchange every year, making them feel that their money would never disappear even if they spent it.
  
The NTV network aired footage of an "enten fair" where participants sang the praises of the investment plan.
  
"Enten life is wonderful," a woman said. Another woman said: "It's like a dream, I can buy anything."

Date created : 2009-02-05

COMMENT(S)