• Kyodo

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A former employee of major trading house Itochu Corp. was arrested Sunday on suspicion of embezzling approximately ¥600 million from an affiliate in New Zealand, police said.

Hajime Nishiguchi, 32, from the city of Moriguchi, Osaka Prefecture, is believed to have spent the money on foreign exchange margin trading and lost almost the entire sum. He has admitted to the allegations, according to the police.

Nishiguchi is alleged to have transferred a total of about 7 million New Zealand dollars — about ¥623 million — from the Itochu affiliate to his bank account by issuing fictitious bills between last August and February.

The suspect was in charge of accounting at a New Zealand woodchip manufacturer after being loaned to the Itochu affiliate in 2010.

Nishiguchi came clean about his actions in February, fearing that an internal audit would eventually uncover the wrongdoing, according to the police.

Itochu fired him in March, filing a criminal complaint with the police.