Japanese diplomat held over arson, embezzlement at embassy in Congo


A diplomat in charge of accounting at the Japanese embassy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo was questioned Tuesday after a suspicious fire at the mission where $260,000 has gone missing.

Shinya Yamada, 30, the third secretary at the Japanese embassy in Kinshasa, was arrested in Tokyo over allegations he set the blaze in June, police and reports said.

"It is extremely regrettable an official of the Foreign Ministry was arrested and that serious damage, including the loss of public funds, was inflicted," said Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, adding an apology "to the people of Japan".

Yamada was a regular at local casinos in Kinshasa and frequently borrowed money from colleagues, the Nikkan Sports tabloid said.

Police believe he embezzled embassy money to fuel his gambling habit before dumping petrol in his office and setting it ablaze in a bid to destroy evidence, reports said.

Records of those entering and exiting the embassy building showed Yamada was the last person to leave on June 20, the day of the fire, the reports said.

© (c) 2013 AFP

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What a putz! Thank you for wasting our tax yen on your ridiculous gambling habit and your more heinous attempt at covering it up. Enjoy prison.....again at the taxpayers` expense.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I saw this on the news. He should have made a deal with those he owed to get expedited visas to Japan for people and he would have come out ahead, and I am sure the casinos would have kept him losing to keep him coming back. Now he's really screwed.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is there a problem with the hiring process for the diplomatic core? Is it based on a single test, with no other checks or assessments?

I may be over-estimating the number of problematic young diplomats from Japan. There was the guy in the US who knocked his wife's teeth out.... Wasn't there are least one more recently? All in the same demographic.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What an idiot!! How do they even hire these dorks??!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Jeeeeez!!! Can you imagine what a casino in DRC must be like?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

oooooops, enjoying the high life a little too much

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is there a problem with the hiring process for the diplomatic core?

The Congo is on the bottom of the list as far as diplomatic assignments go, rating only above purgatory and hell. I imagine finding good people to work there is not especially easy.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Is there a problem with the hiring process for the diplomatic core? Is it based on a single test, with no other checks or assessments?

To join the Japanese diplomatic corps, you have to go through a very rigorous testing and interview process that lasts nearly two years.

I don't think there is any particular problem with Japanese diplomats, every group has its bad apples.

And speaking of bad apples, I think about 10 years ago a US diplomat was quietly arrested after serving in the Congo for selling visas and keeping underaged sex slaves...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gambling pushes people to commit crimes because the one who is penniless wants to get hold of money in anyway he can, even if he has to steal it or take it by force, or through cheating.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Though it sounds like he waited until everyone left however he's lucky no one was injured. Desperation and foolishness make poor companions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I hope he spends his jail time in DRC. With all these gorillas

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

To be hired as diplomat? Usually A graduate from Japanese University on related fiedl with top graduating rank. Then, study abroad in Maybe Harvard, Yale, USC, UCLA, etc with hirgh score graduating degree. Then if his family has connection, he can apply for Foreign Ministry employment exam, interview, etc. Not easy for not wealthy family children, Now he has to mix with white color criminals in jail.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So sangetsu03 and wakarimasen, are your comments trying to justify this low life's actions? It would be unacceptable in a "first-world" country but acceptable in the DRC because it's not a respectable rich country, right?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No. Just imagining what a casino in DRC must be like. all the games are likely rigged (i doubt there is a regulatory body in country where millions have died in civil war), linked to crime, full of hookers and lowlifes. that's all. His actions of stealing taxpayers money and burning doen the embassy would be just as despicable in Central London.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

taking after the local custom!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

He must be addicted to gambling. Casinos in Congo (or any countries) produce a lot of income to Goverments. Also existwemces pf casinos attract tourists to the countries.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese politicians should be aware of gambling addict destroy young diplomat career and damage Japanese diplomats' image abroad. How many Company's employees will be charging for committing stealing Company's fund if Casino was allowed to operate in Japan? In Australia, some top retailers were went to bankrupt from result of employees stealing millions of Company money to feed their gambling addiction habit and high-life style. Japanese politicians must be balancing between income from Casino license & Tax and size of Japanese society damage by gambling. Casino will destroy good nature of Japanese society, integrity and peoples lives.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Diplomatic immunity FTW! /sarcasm

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congo used to be French Congo. So, people from France and other European countries must be using casinos n Congo instead of visiting :far away flying to Las Vegas or casinos in South East Asia. 21 year or under can not gamble in casinos. Games? Just like casinos in other countries, casinos provide how to play game guide books. Casinos do not have to cheat their customers. They just earn because people gamble. Even mob eras in Las Vegas. various levels of skimming were used to let Windy City and Kansas City mobs get by couriers. Gamin Revenue Tax. Govt. collect. He probably used Japan's illegal gambling arenas )yakuzas' niwa-ba;) and already an addict before he was shipped to Congo. @kobuta chan. try to see what kind of people use yakuza's gambling establishment, Illegal gamblings have been all over in Japan for generations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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