Police raid Japan cult in embezzlement probe


Reuters/January 25, 1999

TOKYO, Jan 25, 1999 (Reuters) - Japanese police investigating an embezzlement case said on Monday they had raided an office of the cult whose members staged a 1995 gas attack on Tokyo's subways. Police were following up on the arrest earlier this month of an Aum Shinri Kyocult member who worked as a door-to-door saleswoman for Amway, the U.S. direct marketing company.

``I can confirm that, but we have not officially made any announcement of it,'' a police official said. He declined to give further details.

An Amway spokesman said cult member Tomoyo Kobayashi was suspected of embezzling 1.86 million yen ($16,316) from Amway between May 1996 and September 1998.

The raid was the second this month on the office in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, which borders Tokyo. The office handles finances for the cult, the National Police Agency has said.

Leaders of the cult, including guru Shoko Asahara, are on trial for crimes including the March 1995 sarin gas attack on Tokyo subways which killed 12 people and sickened thousands of others.


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