Police arrest cultist who loses temper at bank


Japan Times, January 24, 2000

Police arrested a senior member of Aum Shinrikyo on Monday for allegedly violating antiviolence laws by shouting at and threatening bank officials when they refused to let him open an account in the cult's name.

According to police, Naruhito Noda, 33, who resides in a cult facility in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, attempted to open an account at one of the bank's branches in Tokyo's Adachi Ward on Thursday, the day after the cult changed its name to Aleph.

After he was turned down, Noda allegedly shouted at bank officials in a first-floor meeting room at the bank and criticized them for discriminating against the cult at a time when it was attempting to make a fresh start.

He also threatened to contact acquaintances in rightist groups and have them send loudspeaker vans to the bank, according to police.

Noda was arrested when police found him in a car in front of the Tokyo Detention House in Katsushika Ward. Noda, one of the cult's top officials, is in charge of the cult's financing, they added.

Police raided several locations in connection with the case, including the cult's facilities in Adachi Ward, Koshigaya, and Yokohama.

A computer shop said to be run by the cult in Tokyo's Akihabara district was also searched.


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