Mizutani Kensetsu Co., involved in a tax evasion scandal, has provided around 1 billion yen of money under the table to gangsters, informed sources said Saturday.

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office is believed to have questioned several gangsters on a voluntary basis about their connections with the engineering company, the sources said.

Some sources said the company had given the money to gangsters with whom its former chairman, Isao Mizutani, 61, has close ties, so it could proceed smoothly with construction projects across the nation.

It is also suspected that Mizutani Kensetsu used the slush fund for political influence, leading the prosecutors to investigate further how the money was used, according to the sources.

While Mizutani has been arrested on suspicion of violating the corporate tax law, the company’s representative director, Shigeyuki Nakamura, 55, was indicted Friday on a charge of evading 940 million yen in corporate taxes after hiding about 3.13 billion yen of its revenue in the business year through August 2003.

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