Japanese Cops Storm PC Makers


Reuters, July 2, 1999

Japanese police raided a computer company believed to be linked to a sect blamed for a 1995 nerve gas attack on a Tokyo subway, the Kyodo news agency reported Friday.

The raid was part of a bigger sweep carried out on 23 businesses tied to Aum Shinri Kyo, or the Supreme Truth Sect. Targets included shops, offices, and computer assembly factories north of Tokyo, which police believe were established using forged documents, but are actually owned by the sect.

Japanese authorities said that the doomsday cult is headed by Shoko Asahara, who is currently on trial for the 1995 attack that killed 12 people and made thousands ill.

Aum runs computer and publishing businesses, produces and sells music tapes, and runs seminars to fund its activities, according to a Public Security Investigation Agency report.

The raids were aimed at choking off Aum's primary assets following reports that the sect, which had seen its membership dwindle from 10,000 members to 2,100, may be growing again.

The report said Aum's computer business had sales worth 7 billion yen (US$58 million) in 1998.

Police also arrested a 32-year-old cult follower on charges related to the

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