National / Crime & Legal

Former SMBC banker arrested for allegedly stealing ¥190 million

Kyodo

A former senior employee of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. was arrested Wednesday for allegedly pocketing about ¥190 million ($1.84 million) by manipulating the bank’s foreign exchange trading system, police said.

Hiroshi Minamihashi, 54, began stealing from the bank in 2007, repeatedly taking money that he spent on entertainment with his girlfriend and other expenses, including education fees for his child, the police said, noting he could have swindled up to ¥1.1 billion.

Minamihashi, a former deputy head of the bank’s Omori branch in Tokyo, is suspected of having stolen the ¥190 million by illegally accessing the online system 17 times between last November and June, the police said.

The police alleged Minamihashi padded the amounts of U.S. dollars purchased via the trading system, before transferring the additional money to an account under a fabricated company’s name.

The bank fired Minamihashi in July after the fraud allegation came to light following an investigation by tax inspectors.

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