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Former Bank of Japan employee nabbed after allegedly stealing gold coins

Kyodo

A former Bank of Japan employee was arrested Friday for allegedly stealing gold coins worth a total of ¥200,000 ($1,850) from the central bank’s Tokyo head office, police said.

Koichi Yakushiji, 54, is suspected of stealing the two gold coins on April 2, the police said. Yakushiji admitted to the charge and is likely to have taken more, they said.

On Wednesday, the BOJ said it suspected that one of its employees had stolen commemorative gold coins worth about ¥1.55 million ($14,400) from its head office.

A regular check of a vault on April 10 then revealed that a ¥50,000 coin issued to commemorate the 1993 marriage of Crown Prince Naruhito and Crown Princess Masako was missing. Further inspections found that 16 coins — including some ¥100,000 pieces issued in 1990 to commemorate Emperor Akihito’s accession to the throne the year prior — were also missing.

After interviewing staff and inspecting its own records, the BOJ determined there was a high possibility the coins were taken by an employee in the Nihonbashi Currency Issue Division, part of its Currency Issue Department. Yakushiji belongs to this division.