Police probe massive embezzlement in Japanese firm

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Dong Nai police have begun investigating an embezzlement case in which a Japanese manager has allegedly run away with hundreds of billions of dong embezzled from the Sanyo Di Solutions Vietnam Company.

Police are looking for Nishimura Setsuo, the company's chief financial officer, who has allegedly misappropriated in excess of US$8 million since 2007.

The foreign-invested company, based at the Bien Hoa II Industrial Zone in Dong Nai's Bien Hoa Town, reported to police last month that they could not contact Setsuo, who had not reported for work since April 27.

Setsuo had repeatedly withdrawn transaction money from a branch of Vietcombank in Bien Hoa but had not given the money to the company, it said.

Total withdrawals amounted to VND132 billion ($7.7 million) and $500,000 between 2007 and April 2009, it reported.

Police on May 30 arrested Duong Hoai Tan, Do Minh Truong and Duong Thi Ngoc Thanh to investigate their involvement in the “abusing trust to commit fraud” case.

Setsuo had been living with Thanh's sister Duong Thi Thanh Nhan, owner of a restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, the Tien Phong (Pioneer) newspaper reported.

Nhan, 27, had been using Setsuo's stolen money to gamble at dens in HCMC, and casinos in Cambodia and Macau, the newspaper said. She also gave Thanh $900,000 to deposit at a local bank.

Tan and Truong were Nhan's employees entrusted to collect the money stolen by Setsuo or pay her gambling debts.

Nhan is still at large, police said.

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