The Tokyo Regional Immigration Bureau in March confiscated forgeries of graduation certificates from Kyoto-based Ritsumeikan University during a search of a Tokyo apartment, bureau officials said Tuesday.

The bureau conducted searches at various locations between March 11 and 19, including at an apartment in Sumida Ward, and detained seven people from China and Malaysia at a bureau facility on suspicion of violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, they said.

The forged certificates are believed to have been printed after scanning and processing an authentic graduation certificate. They had blank spaces for names and birthdays, the officials said.

In addition to the certificates, dozens of forged blank Chinese passports and discs containing data for making counterfeit alien registration documents were found at the apartment and confiscated.

A 35-year-old Chinese man, believed to be the leader of a forgery lab based in the apartment, reportedly told officials he knew nothing of the fake certificates.

The bureau suspects the certificates were made with the aim of selling them, as the man’s notebook listed more than 1,000 phone numbers.

The public relations office of Ritsumeikan University said it will ask the bureau for information about the confiscated certificates.

Apparent suicide bid

KITAKYUSHU (Kyodo) A Chinese man indicted for illegally entering Japan apparently attempted suicide at a detention center here by cutting his wrist and abdomen with the broken lens of his glasses, officials said Tuesday.

A guard found the 41-year-old man, whose name has been withheld, bleeding in his cell at the detention house in the Kokura district of the city at about 7:40 p.m. Monday, center officials said. The man was hospitalized with minor injuries, they said.

The man was one of 63 Chinese indicted on charges of violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law in early March after being captured off the coast of Fukuoka Prefecture.

Eight guards patrol the detention center at night every 15 minutes. The previous guard did not notice anything unusual at 7:25 p.m., the officials said.

Hisayoshi Tominaga, deputy chief of the detention house, said the early discovery of the man’s attempted suicide prevented the incident from becoming serious.

“There is no problem about the way he is detained, and confiscating glasses from detainees is difficult,” he said. “We will ask him the details after he recovers.”

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