Mizutani Kensetsu Co., an engineering company suspected of tax evasion, provided 200 million yen in late 2004 to a Tokyo-based nongovernmental organization engaged in humanitarian aid for North Korea, sources said Tuesday.
The firm’s 61-year-old former chairman, now living abroad, is believed to have played a key role in providing the money via an affiliated firm with the aim of starting a gravel delivery business in North Korea, the sources said.
A special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office recently raided the NGO, called Rainbow Bridge, to follow the flow of the money, investigative sources said. The NGO has been engaged in humanitarian aid activities in North Korea.
The secretary general of Rainbow Bridge said in a recent interview he asked the former Mizutani chairman for humanitarian aid, saying, “By making prior investments in North Korea, you can get work – .”
In spring 2003, the secretary general introduced the ex-chairman to a man identified as a member of a North Korean panel on foreign economic cooperation, the sources said.
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