• Kyodo

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Police have obtained an arrest warrant for a woman suspected of stealing 7 million yen from the bank account of a medical doctor in Tsuyama, Okayama Prefecture, by using the bank card of his wife, who has been missing since June 3, it was learned Saturday.

Images of the suspect, identified only as a 33-year-old woman from the village of Chizu, Tottori Prefecture, were captured on a security camera as she withdrew 500,000 yen from the bank account of 59-year-old doctor Yukio Takahashi, whose wife Taeko, 55, went missing on June 3, informed sources said.

In withdrawing the cash, the woman used a bank card in Takahashi’s name that was held by Taeko, prompting police to speculate that the woman knows something about Taeko’s whereabouts, they said.

According to investigators, the woman withdrew the money from an ATM machine in Tsuyama on the same day that the doctor’s wife disappeared.

Taeko Takahashi vanished after telephoning relatives to say that she was visited at home by a young woman and a man apparently in his 50s claiming to be acquaintances of her husband, they said.

A total of 7 million yen had been withdrawn from Takahashi’s account by that same night, they said.

The woman named in the arrest warrant lived in the village of Chizu with her parents following her divorce last year. She had lived in Okayama Prefecture during her four-year marriage.

She disappeared, however, and her parents have filed a missing persons report with local police, sources said. According to the woman’s neighbors, money lenders repeatedly visited the house prior to her disappearance, they said.

Police learned the woman’s identity after they released the security camera images and asked the general public for information.

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