Police will launch a criminal investigation of Susumu Ojima, president of condominium developer Huser Ltd., and could arrest him as early as next month over a building constructed with quake safety data faked by architect Hidetsugu Aneha, sources said Monday.
Police have asked Ojima, 52, to appear before investigators Tuesday to respond to questions on a voluntary basis, the sources said.
Police hope to charge him and other Huser executives with fraud and real estate business law violations because the Tokyo developer, which has been undergoing a court-led liquidation process, is suspected of selling condo units in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, despite knowing the building was vulnerable to earthquakes, they said.
Police also questioned officials Monday of the now-defunct Kimura Construction Co., which built more than half of the buildings whose earthquake resistance data were found to have been fabricated by Aneha, investigative sources said.
Those grilled on a voluntary basis include Moriyoshi Kimura, 74, president of the contractor, which is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings.
Kimura, besides allegedly knowingly constructing buildings with subpar structural strength, is suspected of submitting window-dressed financial reports to the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry in violation of the construction industry law.
Documents submitted by the company to the Kumamoto Prefectural Government state the firm posted some 12.7 billion yen in sales in the year to last June, up nearly 50 percent from about 8.7 billion yen posted in the year ended in June 2002.
Sources said police suspect the window-dressing was aimed at maintaining the firm’s designation ranking so it could take part in bidding for public works contracts.
Aneha meanwhile faces arrest by the end of the month on suspicion of fabricating quake-resistance data for condominiums and budget hotels, the sources said.
Investigators are also probing allegations that Aneha lent his name to a designer to conduct work that requires an architect’s license in violation of the architect law, the sources said.