A Tokyo-based investment group suspected of swindling its investors has sent 3 billion yen to the Philippines and Indonesia since 1998 to finance businesses there, according to sources close to the group and documents recently obtained by Kyodo News.

The Metropolitan Police Department is likely to arrest Genta Ogami, 39, head of the G.O. group, and six to eight senior members of the organization as early as next week on suspicion of fraud, investigative sources said.

The G.O. group is suspected of collecting about 40 billion yen from more than 30,000 investors across Japan and swindling them out of most of the money, the sources said.

The police suspect the 3 billion yen was part of the swindled funds and plan to establish a fraud case against Ogami and the senior members covering more than 100 million yen of the 40 billion yen, the source said.

According to the documents, 2.97 billion yen was sent abroad from the group’s local branches and Ogami’s personal bank account between July 1998 and March this year, immediately before police searched the Tokyo head office of G. Cosmos Japan Co., an investment service company under the G.O. group, and the group’s affiliates on suspicion of collecting deposits without a license.

The group sent a total of 1.2 billion yen to its affiliate in the Philippines to finance the purchase of Unitrust Development Bank there, according to the document. The group bought the bank in September 2001.

The group had also sent some 98 million yen to Ogami’s 38-year-old Philippine wife in the Philippines.

Under the plan, investors received a catalog of merchandise every month and selected products they thought would sell. They were then asked to pay 20,000 yen to 50,000 yen to help advertise the products.

The group was supposed to spend the money on newspaper and television advertisements for the products for mail-order service, and promised investors they would receive a return in accordance with sales.

But the group did not profit in any business and the money is believed to have gone on Ogami’s personal expenses.

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