• Kyodo


Police on Sunday served fresh arrest warrants on a man and three women in Saitama Prefecture, saying they tried to kill a man by making him take a excessive amounts of cold remedy in a murder-for-insurance scheme.

Police alleged Shigeru Yagi, 50, a moneylender and hostess-bar manager in Honjo, and the three women — Analie Sato Kawamura, 34, Mayumi Take, 32, and Takako Morita, 38 — tried to kill Fujimi Kawamura, 38. The four denied the allegations.

On Saturday, prosecutors indicted the four on charges of arranging two paper marriages in a murder-for-insurance scheme worth more than 1 billion yen.

Police suspect Yagi and the three women tried to murder Fujimi Kawamura, Analie’s second husband, by giving him an excessive amount of a medicine containing acetaminophen over a one-year period. Excess amounts of acetaminophen can lead to liver problems.

Fujimi Kawamura, a former painter, was hospitalized last May 30 for liver disease apparently caused by acetaminophen. Takako’s husband, Akira Morita, 61, died of heart disease May 29, 1999, the day before Fujimi Kawamura became critically ill, police sources said.

The two had about 1.2 billion yen in life insurance on them, with premiums paid by Yagi, the sources said.

Akira Morita had 170 million yen in life insurance on him, and a 1 billion yen policy was taken out on Fujimi Kawamura, with Analie as the beneficiary, the sources said.

After Analie’s first husband, Shuichi Sato, drowned in 1995 she got 300 million yen in life insurance.