OSAKA (Kyodo) A health ministry bureaucrat has been arrested for allegedly taking bribes from a contact lens company in exchange for inspection information, triggering police raids on various places Sunday.

Katsutoshi Sumitomo, 50, assistant division chief at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry’s international annual pension division, was arrested Saturday for accepting ¥1.5 million in cash from Shinwa Medical Inc. executive Akinori Tsukuda, 55, and another person in February 2008 for tips on how to evade inspections of eye clinics it had set up at its contact lens shops.

Tsukuda and another person have been arrested on suspicion of bribing Sumitomo, they said, adding that the three have basically owned up to the allegations, the police, said.

Police said they believe Sumitomo received ¥20 million to ¥30 million from Tsukuda and other people over several years.

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