• Kyodo

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A former employee of NTT West Corp., one of the two regional carriers of the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone group, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of receiving 300,000 yen in cash in return for illegally providing information on NTT customers, police said.

Koichi Shirahata, 36, from Kawanishi, Hyogo Prefecture, is suspected of leaking computerized information such as customers’ addresses in violation of the NTT Law during May and June 1999, the police said.

Police believe that Shirahata, who now works at an NTT affiliate, had a total of 300,000 yen transferred to his bank account in two separate transactions as a reward in June and July that year.

The police also served new arrest warrants Thursday on 44-year-old Hiroomi Ota, an event organizer from Chiba, and Hiromi Sakurai, 37, a resident of Tokyo, on suspicion of bribing Shirahata.

The three men have admitted to the allegations, the police said.

Ota and Sakurai were first arrested on suspicion of paying a 600,000 yen bribe to Kenji Kumagai, 37, a former employee of NTT East Corp. from Gunma Prefecture.

Kumagai has been indicted for accepting the bribe.

The police said Shirahata became acquainted with Kumagai during a company training session and that Kumagai later introduced Shirahata to Ota and Sakurai.

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