A 32-year-old Kyoto University graduate student was arrested Tuesday for allegedly selling chloroform over the Internet without a license.
One of his customers who purchased a bottle of chloroform used the chemical in an unsuccessful attempt to sexually assault a women in Tokyo in October, police said.
According to the Metropolitan Police Department, Eiichi Kato, who lives in Kyoto’s Sakyo Ward, ran an advertisement on his Internet Web site offering to sell a 500-cc bottle of chloroform for 30,000 yen. He was arrested on suspicion of selling the hazardous chemical without a license.
In October, he sold a bottle to Tsutomu Yamada, 29, a former trucking firm employee, who saw the ad and transferred cash to Kato’s bank account. Later that month, Yamada tried to assault a 28-year-old woman in Tokyo after using the chemical to incapacitate his intended victim. He was arrested and later indicted for attempted sexual assault.
Kato kept his bank account in the name of a company employee in Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, who has nothing to do with the case. Police identified Kato from a video image taken when he withdrew cash from his bank account at a Kyoto branch of the bank.
After graduating from the engineering department of Kyoto University, Kato proceeded to its graduate school in 1992 and took a doctorate course in 1995, majoring in chemical studies.