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NAGOYA (Kyodo) The president of Nagoya-based glue maker Asai was arrested Friday on suspicion of selling pesticide-tainted rice to a dealer he knew would market it for human consumption.

Toshinori Asai, 57, allegedly sold around 570 tons of the tainted Chinese rice to the dealer in Yokkaichi, Mie Prefecture, from 2006 to 2007 after purchasing it from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry to ostensibly make glue, police said.

But the tainted grain was actually sold for edible use, and most of it was consumed.

A wholesaler in the city of Shizuoka put some of the rice into storage, where the pesticide on it was detected.

After the ministry raised the issue with Asai in October, a joint prefectural police investigation squad from Aichi and Mie raided the company and seized documents indicating the president sold the contaminated rice for a profit, investigative sources said.

The squad also raided the Yokkaichi dealer Friday.

The police are investigating the sales route taken by the contaminated rice, which was distributed nationwide.

The move follows a case involving Osaka-based rice miller Mikasa Foods last year.

Asai and Mikasa Foods have been under fire for distributing imported rice as edible even though it had been designated inedible due to residual pesticide and fungal contamination.

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