Ex-cop held over 1994 evidence theft

Kyodo

A former inspector with the Saitama Prefectural Police was arrested Saturday for allegedly stealing roughly 300,000 yen in cash that had been confiscated during an investigation, police officials said.

Arrested was Mitsuo Hatsuse, 61, currently an employee with a private sector company. He was formerly assigned with the Omiya Police Station, which was where the alleged theft took place, they added.

According to investigators, Hatsuse stole a clutch case containing 302,767 yen that was evidence in an investigation regarding violation of the Stimulants Law around April 1994, when he was still an officer.

The theft was discovered when Omiya Police Station officials tried to send confiscated evidence to district prosecutors as the statute of limitations on the drug case was about to run out, police said.

Hatsuse retired from the force in 1997 and has admitted to the charges, saying that he used the money for pachinko and other things, they said.

Investigators said he had been using the money in amounts of 12,000 yen each.

Cop held for drug use

FUKUOKA (Kyodo) A 45-year-old policeman in Fukuoka Prefecture was arrested Saturday night on suspicion of using amphetamines, police said.

The suspect was identified as Hiroshi Hashimoto, an assistant police inspector who allegedly used the drugs between March 26 and Saturday.

A urine sample submitted by Hashimoto on Saturday tested positive for drug use, police said.

Hashimoto, who was fired the same day, has denied the charge.