Sep 15, 2006

4 ex-Mitutoyo executives in Japan linked to SCOMI indicted for illegal nuke-linked exports

Case proven in Japan, but not in Malaysia?

Pelik tapi Benar!

Extracted from Mainichi Daily News
4 ex-Mitutoyo executives indicted for illegal nuke-linked exports

September 15, 2006
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office on Thursday indicted four former executives of precision instruments maker Mitutoyo Corp. on charges of illegally exporting instruments that could be used for nuclear weapons development.

The four are former President Kazusaku Tezuka, 67, former Vice Chairman Norio Takatsuji, 71, former Managing Director Hideyo Chikugo, 66, and former board member Tetsuo Kimura, 65.

A Mitutoyo employee arrested by Tokyo police in late August along with the four executives was released without indictment.

According to the allegations, Tezuka and the three others exported two three-dimensional precision measuring instruments developed by the firm to Malaysia in October and November 2001, without permission from the economy, trade and industry minister.

One of the two instruments turned up in Libya during an inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.

Companies need to obtain permission from the economy minister to export precision measuring instruments with accuracy exceeding a certain level.

But Mitutoyo allegedly used special software to limit the accuracy of the equipment and declared to customs that no permission was required.

The unauthorized exports amount to a violation of the foreign exchange law.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's Public Safety Bureau suspects Mitutoyo of having illegally exported several thousand units of its three-dimensional measuring equipment since 1995. It intends to continue its investigations.

Japan's customs authorities are considering bringing charges against the four executives. (Jiji Press)

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