Police return from Congo fire probe


A Tokyo police team has returned from a mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to investigate a fire in June at the Japanese Embassy in Kinshasa.

There is information that a suspicious figure was recorded by a security camera, and the Metropolitan Police Department team plans to ask the local police there to provide it with the footage through the International Criminal Police Organization, sources said.

Because the security camera was installed outside the embassy, the MPD must get the local police to analyze the footage, the sources said.

According to the sources, the fire broke out on June 20 at the four-story building in Kinshasa that houses the embassy, which occupies the third and fourth floors. The fire partially burned the fourth floor, but no one was hurt.

The camera recorded a suspicious figure entering the building with an object that appeared to be a kerosene tank, and the fire site smelled of oil, the sources said.

Suspecting arson, the Tokyo police sent over a team of 15 investigators who examined the site and interviewed the embassy staff before returning on Saturday.