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Police baffled by Y360 million that disappeared from backyard

31 Comments

On Oct 10, 2007, an 83-year-old company owner in Saga Prefecture reported to police that 360 million yen, which he had buried in his yard, had disappeared. The money was never recovered and the man passed away last December. The police revealed details of the case on Jan 28.

“There were lots of police vehicles and investigators at that time. I was also interviewed by police,” said a neighbor. “Police said they were investigating a case of theft, but I was surprised to hear what it was all about and the amount of money involved."

According to police, the old man had saved the money during a 40-year span, always putting it in a container which he buried in his backyard garden. It was in October, 2007, when he added to his cache for the last time. The money was dug up sometime prior to Oct 10, police said.

Neighbors said they had never seen the man burying anything in his garden and never realized he had so much money. “He drove an ordinary Japanese car, didn't drink or gamble, as far as I know," said one. "His lifestyle seemed simple.”

One of the man's relatives told Shukan Post that they had drifted apart. "I hadn't seen him for a long time and didn't know anything about his financial condition. There were not many people at his funeral. I think he wanted to keep his money with him all the time. But I still doubt if he really buried that much money in the backyard.”

The man did have a lot of money-related troubles, according to those who knew him. He used to run a cleaning company and one of his employees recalls, “He often said we would have to take a pay cut to cover his losses. But it was a lie. He paid us 7,000 yen a day, while he was earning millions of yen. He never increased wages and even fired employees just before bonus payday. There was always a high turnover of staff.”

Police believe that if the money really was stolen, then the thief must be someone fully aware of the man's finances. They have investigated neighbors, business contacts and even tax officers.

However, some say the deceased man's his behavior is too irrational for a money-driven guy. An investigator says, “There was no light and security camera in the backyard. He said he buried the money there in case of a fire in the house. But there are safer places than the backyard. He could have used a safety deposit box at a bank. I think he had some secret reason for hoarding his money like that. Maybe he had tax issues.”

In any case, somebody got 360 million yen richer -- in tax-free money. (Translated by Taro Fujimoto)

© Japan Today

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31 Comments
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died poor, he should have spent it and enjoyed himself a little more. who needs 360,000,000 at 83? buy your self something nice, a massage chair and a few trips to florida

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Probably one of the neighbours did see him and then took it at some point. They are hardly going to admit to the police that they saw him burying something in the backyard and then add "but I didn't take it!", are they! 360 million yen, wow. Nice little find that would have been.

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JPY 360 million and 83 years old? He should have gone on one of those luxury around the world cruises.

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sounds like he was not a very nice person according to the accounts of his former employees. Old mean scrooge died alone, and without his money in the end. Thats poetic justice for you.

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Well he is dead now so case closed?

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that old guy must have had some serious issues. what a lunatic.

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Neighbors said they had never seen the man burying anything in his garden and never realized he had so much money. “He drove an ordinary Japanese car, didn’t drink or gamble, as far as I know,” said one.

Why would having money be related to gambling? Would having no money be more likely if you were a gambler?

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It takes millions of trips to the backyard to save that much amount of money in 4 decades. No doubt, why he died without a penny at the end of his life.

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Neighbors said they had never seen the man burying anything in his garden and never realized he had so much money

bet they said that. someone obviously saw him do it.

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Police....."don't look at us, we're clean"!

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Japanese police baffled? NO WAY!

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I bet the old man was planning to use that money in Heaven, but someone took it all right before he died. This scenario assumes the old man wasn't simply lying about having the money.

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Police??? Baffled??? Nothing new here.

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Something like this could happen ONLY IN SAGA.

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83 years old? Probably some old coot stuck in the "old days"..."Banks? Must be one of thems new thingamajigs from them foreign devils! I'ma bury mah munny in the yard!"

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I bet this story is BS! Y360mil, that means he saved about Y4mil for every year he was alive, now I dont know what the hell his business was cleaning but I doubt this figure is true.

The guy probably mistakenly added 3-4 zeros & buried a few hundred thousand that just biodegraded over time ha ha

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Yeah, seems like we only have his word for the amount being 360 million. Also when my grandmother started to move into the more severe stages of Alzheimer's she was constantly telling us things had been stolen from her- none of it was true.

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GW-its over 40 years. I dont know of any newborns that are able to start squirreling money away right off the bat...

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There is no security in money. Spend it!

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Dead right samuraiiki, you get some money and somehow some salesman, relative, friend, enemy, govt departments ........ can smell it and want it even though you never advertised. When you don't have it its only credit card companies that come around asking you to spend some one elses money. Any way the old fella sounded mean and died mean. Reap what you sow.

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Reminds me of the Aesop's fable about a miser man who converts his worth into gold and buries it in a field to protect it. One of his farm workers realises this, digs up the gold and replaces it with an ordinary rock. The miser laments his loss but a wise neighbour points out that accumulated but unused wealth has no true worth anyway and thus, for the miser, the rock is of equal value to the gold he has lost.

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Stingy guy like that who fired people before bonus payout and kept paying his employees the worst salary man can get in Japan finally got what he deserved. "What goes around comes around..."

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I bet there was no money. More likely this guy was suffering from some convincing delusion that he decided to share with the authorities.

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GW-its over 40 years. I dont know of any newborns that are able to start squirreling money away right off the bat...

horsefella, hence my thinking the story is BS!

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That would be at least 36,000 notes. No idea how big that would be, but a lot bigger than a lunch box. Doesn't sound likely at all.

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Great Asop fable.

By that logic, the money in your wallet is not being used and thus has no value. Therefore you won't mind whilst I remove it (at gunpoint).

I do get the wider meaning.....BTW.

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Uh, are we sure the money actually existed?

Guy was 83, and sounds like he wasn't the nicest person. "There were not many people at his funeral." As in, he most likely wasn't exactly flooded with social calls.

Hmm.

Some people just make stuff up as an excuse to talk to people. And reporting something like that would most likely take up a whole day...

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Oh no ! They have to get up from their chairs.

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There is no mention of a hole. If the money was dug up there has to be a hole. Either that or evidence of fresh earth being turned. Either there was no money or it is still buried. Or all this is fantasy.

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I reckon its BS to get people salivating and watching their neighbors in the Garden.

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He burried it and never spent it so why should he care if someone stole it? He was never going to use it anyway. I'm going to start watching my neighbors a little more closely when they are out gardening!

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