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Missing British expat left Tokyo with company cash?

by Jun Hongo

Staff Writer

A British entrepreneur who vanished from Tokyo on May 22 and was feared to have somehow been involved in foul play may actually have left Japan with some of his company’s cash in hand, reports said Monday.

Garin Dart, 41, founder of the event management company Bluesilver, was last seen May 22 heading to a meeting at a Shinjuku hotel. Friends and colleagues who described the Briton as a “hardworking individual” had contacted police and the British Embassy, and were seeking information regarding his sudden disappearance.

But multiple British media reports over the weekend suggested Dart withdrew about £40,000 from his company before he vanished. Police confirmed that Dart left the country for an “unknown destination” and that they are “not investigating any criminal complaint against him,” the Daily Mail said on its website.

A spokesman from the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department said the MPD could not confirm whether the reports on Dart were true.

“This was not an official announcement (regarding the case) and we can’t confirm the details,” the spokesman told The Japan Times on Monday.

Dart, who had resided in Japan for more than 10 years, vanished while leaving behind his pregnant wife and children. He last sent email to his co-workers at around 1 p.m. on May 22. Colleagues have said there was nothing out of the ordinary leading up to the day.

His disappearance received wide coverage in his home country, while friends and colleagues quickly launched a campaign to gather any information regarding Dart’s location. But the family appears to have withdrawn from reaching out to the media or circulating fliers for help, opting to let the police and the embassy handle the case “due to the sensitive nature” of the disappearance.

Dart’s family posted messages assuring that “all the issues have been raised with the authorities,” while his wife has also told friends and colleagues through messages posted online that “many professionals” were involved and looking into the case .

In addition to Bluesilver, Dart was also involved in organizing the Foreign Volunteers Japan group following the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

  • Ron NJ

    I find it hard to believe that Japan allows planes from rogue airlines bound for “unknown destination” to land at its airports. If he got on a plane then someone here knows where he (at least initially) went to – the question is why aren’t they talking?

    • Guest

      Since there is not a criminal complaint, why would the authorities need to look up where he is going? It’s not a crime to leave the country and not tell anyone where you are going.

      • http://durf.org/ Peter Durfee

        Exactly. I could imagine the metro police asking the Ministry of Justice for information, getting a “the information we’re allowed to give out shows that he got an exit stamp on date XX,” and leaving it at that.

  • fun_on_tv

    Sounds very strange to me. Every time I leave Japan I have to fill in form. I had to write my alien is number too.
    Sounds like the Lucy Blackman murder all over again.

  • fun_on_tv

    Multiple British media? Which ones? I just checked on google and only The Daily Mail reports this.

  • matty-b

    There are much more detailed reports from foreign news services. I’d suggest checking those first, as the news bulletin above quotes and relies heavily on previous reports. The report above is more of a summary with quotes. Still, having this information available to a wider audience is invaluable.

  • Guest

    I’m trying to figure out why this is news anywhere. It’s pretty clear he left on his own volition for whatever reasons. Lots of people do this every day, why is this guy’s story receiving media attention?

  • Michael H

    Seems to me like he may have just ran – perhaps there are marital issues at play. If he is running from his family, thanks to Japan’s refusal to sign on the UN Rights of Child Convention – his family may be the one’s who’ll suffer

    • Guest

      Japan’s a party to that convention now.

      • Ron NJ

        Being party to a convention and making laws that support the spirit of the convention without making a mockery of it are two entirely different things.

      • Guest

        I think this is pretty cynical. Give it some time to see how well the courts choose to honor the spirit of the convention before criticizing them for not doing so, OK?

      • Ron NJ

        Because Japanese family courts have such a fantastic history of being progressive and looking out for children, right?

      • Masa Chekov

        So let me get this straight – people complain because Japan is not a party to the Hague convention (I assume this is what Michael meant – Japan has been a party to the UN convention for over 20 years. The US is NOT a party to it.) Japan makes steps towards following this international agreement (as of a few months ago) and you are still complaining.

        Very, very cynical.

      • Ron NJ

        What the US does or does not do is not an issue here – this is an example of the ‘Ignoratio elenchi’ logical fallacy. You are not demonstrating that what Japan is doing is or is not wrong nor addressing the criticism leveled at Japan, but rather ‘deflecting the argument’ by bringing America – something totally irrelevant to this article and the conversation itself – into the question. See link below:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignoratio_elenchi

        It’s also fairly obvious he meant the Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, though he confused the two.

      • Masa Chekov

        Ron, don’t be so pedantic. I made an offhand, unimportant comment about the US not being a party to the UN Rights of Child Convention because it is interesting. But it wasn’t my point and you know this.

        You are deflecting from my real point – why are you so cynical about Japan’s participation in the Hague convention when it has just started?

      • Ron NJ

        Ad hominem attacks are unwelcome, let’s at least try to have discussions in a civilized manner without attacking other posters rather than addressing the issues in question.

      • Masa Chekov

        Ron – I am not using ad hominem attacks, I am being factual. Linking to a wikipedia article about a latin phrase that is irrelevant to the discussion IS pedantic, and criticizing the courts for something they haven’t had a chance to rule on IS cynical.

        I don’t know you nor your character and I wrote nothing that implied anything about your character. I’m sure you’re a swell chap.

      • Ron NJ

        The link to the wikipedia article is intended to help you understand exactly why your reference to America is irrelevant. You are merely sidetracking from the issue here – Japan’s participation in international conventions – by bringing up third party countries that quite honestly could not be less relevant. Remember, the original fellow in the article is British, so if you’re going to be talking about any nation’s participation in international conventions, you’re going to have to choose between Britain and Japan.

        Being pedantic about these sorts of things helps keep discussion on track, otherwise we end up – as we have here – with people making ad hominem attacks, building strawmen, and discussing irrelevant situations rather than addressing the issues at hand. If you can’t appreciate and understand that fact, then it is probably best to just not reply at all.

        To bring things back on track, remember, if you will, that Japan’s family courts have thus far been incredibly backwards compared to other signatory countries, and have been clearly shown to not honor basic tenets of either the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (right of the child to access to both parents, etc) nor the Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, despite the Convention on the Rights of the Child coming into effect more than two decades ago. Thus, Japan’s track record thus far is quite poor in regards to those matters, and as Colin P.A. Jones has stated in numerous articles right here on the JT, there is plenty of reason to be cynical about the present (and future) situation.

      • Masa Chekov

        Ron.

        “Remember, the original fellow in the article is British, so if you’re going to be talking about any nation’s participation in international conventions, you’re going to have to choose between Britain and Japan.”

        That’s fair enough – I have already said that my comment was irrelevant so there is no need to belabor the point further.

        “Japan’s track record thus far is quite poor in regards to those matters”

        This is quite true, and I would never disagree with that. However, there has been a recent effort to align Japan’s custody procedures with international conventions such as the Hague convention, so I think it is more than fair to allow some time to pass and see how cases are dealt with from now on. Rather than cynicism, I think it’s cause for optimism. Should nothing change, I will join you in your criticism.

      • Ron NJ

        It sounds like we simply differ in levels of optimism then, fair enough.

      • Murasaki

        Old Ron NJ, loves to bash Japan, but gets his knickers in a knot when people point out his beloved US is just as bad!

      • Guest

        Look at you missing the point. How cute.

      • Murasaki

        Ron NJ your posted went from your id to a Guest, what want to take the heat of yourself?

      • Carlos Godoy

        You’re dreaming if you think Japan will stick by this convention. You can wait around to make an observation but after 40 years here, my prediction is they will follow it like they follow the international license agreement: by completely ignoring it and doing whatever they want and in the manner that suits them. And it won’t suit them to force mothers to share international custody.