FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) Police arrested the former president of a food-processing company in Fukushima Prefecture on Sunday for allegedly labeling Chinese-produced burdock roots as home grown and selling them in Japan in violation of the unfair competition prevention law.

Hidemasa Shima, 54, is suspected of labeling the burdock roots as produced in Ibaraki Prefecture and selling 8,720 packages, amounting to about 1,390 kg, to supermarkets and other places in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures from March to November last year, the police said.

Shima has admitted to the allegation, telling the police he falsely labeled the burdock roots so he could sell cheaply bought produce at high prices.

The police said they are continuing to investigate the case on suspicion of fraud as Shima may have sold falsely labeled products for a longer period of time.

The situation came to light in July last year based on an anonymous tip to the Tohoku Regional Agricultural Administration Office in Sendai. The Fukushima prefectural police searched the firm’s factory and related locations in December.

The company, located in Minamisoma, has suspended business, according to the police.

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