• Kyodo

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Three men who were arrested in connection with the burying of the body of a company executive in a residential area in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, have admitted to the act, investigative sources said Tuesday.

According to the sources, the men, who were initially arrested on Oct. 6 on suspicion of illegally rewriting the registration documents of the companies run by the victim, said they buried the body of Michiaki Ozawa of Toride, Ibaraki Prefecture, sometime between the end of 2013 and January 2014.

Ozawa, who ran roughly 20 companies in prefectures in northeastern Japan, including Aomori, Miyagi and Akita, had been missing since January 2014. He was 62 at the time.

After he disappeared, some ¥200 million was reportedly taken from the bank accounts of his companies.

His remains were found Sunday in a vacant plot in Maebashi where one of the suspects used to live in a house.

Police determined via an autopsy that Ozawa was strangled more than a year ago.

The investigators found that registration documents for nine of the companies were changed after August 2014 to state that Ozawa had resigned as an executive and was replaced by one of the suspects, a man in his 70s. The names of the three men have been withheld.

At some of the companies, insurance policies aimed at avoiding bankruptcies were canceled and some ¥10 million was refunded, the sources said.

Investigators believe the men changed company registrations to receive the refunds.

Ozawa had money troubles with the three men, according to the police.

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