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Man indicted over frozen food poisoning at Maruha unit

JIJI

Prosecutors indicted a 49-year-old man Friday on charges of criminal damage by allegedly injecting pesticide into frozen food products made at a Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc. group plant in Gunma Prefecture.

Toshiki Abe, a contract worker of Aqli Foods Corp., a Maruha Nichiro subsidiary, was indicted by the Maebashi District Public Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the Gunma Prefectural Police, Abe admitted the charges, saying he was unhappy with the plant.

He is suspected of injecting a pesticide called malathion a total of nine times into 12 frozen food products, including pizza, between Oct. 3 and 23 last year.

Initially, Abe was arrested on charges of obstructing the company’s business, but the prosecutors were unable to make a decision on whether to indict him due to lack of evidence.

The local prosecutor’s office said that it would continue its investigation with an indictment on the initial charges in sight.