• Kyodo

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Police arrested a 37-year-old man from Tokai, Aichi Prefecture, on suspicion of trying to extort 100 million yen from a branch of Tokai Bank with a bomb threat.

According to Aichi Prefectural Police, Ichisei Omizo, an employee of Nippon Steel Corp., was apprehended at a subway station near the bank’s Misono branch in downtown Nagoya shortly before 2 p.m.

He reportedly admitted to the allegations and told investigators he had debts from consumer loan companies and was strapped for cash.

Earlier that day, people in and near the bank branch were evacuated after an unidentified man called to say a bomb had been placed in the branch, police said. There were no injuries in the incident.

Riot police officers attempted to determine if a small electronic device resembling a radio attached to an alarm clock, which was found in a plastic bag in a flower pot on the ground floor of the branch, was a bomb, they said.

The branch, located 1 km east of JR Nagoya Station, received the threatening call at 11:10 a.m. The caller said a bomb had been placed near a flower pot and demanded 100 million yen, police said.

Similar calls were made to the bank four more times over the following hours, they added.

The pot in question was beside an automated teller machine near an entrance, police said. By around noon, some 700 people were evacuated from the branch and the building in which is located.

Tokai Bank, a major commercial bank, established UFJ Holdings Inc. with two other banks in April.

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