Man held after bodies of missing banker, wife found in Saitama


Police in Okinawa on Tuesday arrested a man in connection with the murders of a wealthy Japanese financier and his wife whose bodies were found Monday in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture.

Police identified the victims as Makoto Shimomi, 51, a top executive at an asset management company in Switzerland, and 48-year-old wife Mie. The couple, who lived in Switzerland, lived a high-flying lifestyle in Europe and owned apartments in Tokyo and Chiba, as well as several luxury cars, Japanese media reported Tuesday.

The couple came back to Japan for a visit in November and were scheduled to return to Switzerland in late December. However, they disappeared after leaving their Ginza apartment on Dec 7. They were seen getting into a car and were never heard from again.

TBS reported that the couple told friends that they had been invited to a party in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, on Dec 7, but police have found no evidence of any scheduled party.

The two bodies were found buried in a shallow grave in a vacant lot in Kuki on Monday. Police said DNA analysis confirmed the identities of the victims. They said both victims appeared to have been strangled to death and there were no personal belongings on them.

Investigators also revealed that after the Shimomis went missing, Makoto's credit card was used unsuccessfully at Tokyo Station by a man in a white face mask attempting to purchase 3 million yen worth of shinkansen ticket coupons. Some of their personal belongings were sold at pawnshops in Tokyo, police said.

Meanwhile, NHK reported that the suspect arrested in Miyakojima, Okinawa -- a 41-year-old man -- owned the vacant lot where the bodies were found. Investigators said that he bought the land in early December. Neighbors were quoted as saying that they saw several men building a fence around the lot soon after.

Police said that arrest warrants have been issued for several other suspects.

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According to whatever morning news show I was watching yesterday, it's possible the person who tried to buy the tickets may have wanted to resell them to one of those discount ticket shops to pocket actual cash. Apparently the buying rate is as high as 97% of the original cost, so that was a possible motivation. The couple had lots of investment properties, very wealthy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

the y word comes to mind

Y indeed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

3 million yen worth of shinkansen tickets.??????? Strange thing to try and buy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is strange. Why would you abduct someone/kill them just to use their credit card? And 300man in shinkansen tickets in one go is the last thing I would think to buy if I had free rein of a card for a few days - maybe over a few different ticket counters, but even then sounds like peanuts compared to what the couple owns in terms of assets.

I don't think it's a random attack, as someone mentioned, they ran into bad Ys or had a falling out somewhere along their lucrative investment journey.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Notice that no names were released. Someone's got pull.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes, I also noticed that the police and the news never released the names when they were missing and being looked for.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shinkansen tickets are negotiable at private ticket shops. Buying then is an easy way to get cash on a stole credit card.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shinkansen tickets can easily be changed for cash, reason for using the credit card.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've seen this in the morning news, a creepy mystery is surrounding this case. Apparently they were invited/lured to a fake party; a rental SUV was parked in front of their mansion for a few days, and they left using this car, despite having two cars of their own. The father of the victim said he didn't know they were in Japan. The armchair detective would guess they were either framed and killed for money (but for a lousy credit card??), or more probably they were having some sort of connection with certain bad guys. the y word comes to mind

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How very curious. Interested to see how this pans out. I live near Kuki.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The names have been released.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i would guess they were held for ransom and after paying were killed. The goon that tried to do the tickets was a thug, no brains, but the leaders certainly got more than 3 million. Yakuza usually send their killers overseas but I guess not every Taro has a passport. This guy in Okinawa was snitched on, sure as sure. Someone got turned by the cops, obviously someone paid a lot to get justice in this case. Benefits of wealth I guess.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why would you abduct someone/kill them just to use their credit card?

There are even loonies that do without any reason. Also for gang/revenge murders, they usually try to make it look like some individual pickpocket that had a fit of violence, or some insane guy. If the police believes it, they don't investigate about complicities and other motivations. But well in 2013, the police no longer believes anything...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That was quick. Well done police!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks for the update, Mod.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

this story totally changed after my post...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Okinawa has something new to think about.

Not really considering this isn't the first time that suspected crimminals have come down here to hide. It wouldn't be all that hard to flee the country from here either considering the location and ease of inter-island transportation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

An orchestrated robbery hit or revenge for a sour deal. This means they gave up their passports to be Swiss citizens and my first guess is down to no extradition treaty motive with Switzerland and the normal Japanese loving their country would only give it up to suit another lifestyle... This guy was more than likely banking for some bad dudes since the 80s and Ginza is as expensive as it gets here. Trace the investments, accounts and clients. The CC might have just been a bonus for the hitman.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Okinawa has something new to think about.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yeah, safety Japan! It shouldn't be too difficult for the flops to piece this one together. It obviously had to be someone they were connected with and knew their itinerary.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

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