Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, Olympus ex-chair, and six others arrested in $1.7B fraud probe


Former Olympus chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa and two other former executives have been arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into a $1.7 billion fraud case at the Japanese camera company.

Kikukawa, who resigned as chairman in October after heading up Olympus for 10 years, was taken into police custody along with Hisashi Mori, the company’s former executive vice president, and Hideo Yamada, who led Olympus’ investment unit and later became an auditing officer, Bloomberg reported.

Tokyo authorities also arrested ex-Nomura bankers Akio Nakagawa and Nobumasa Yokoo, as well as two other individuals suspected of involvement in one of Japan’s largest-ever corporate scandals, according to Sky News.

Olympus, a camera and medical devices manufacturer, has admitted concealing massive investment losses incurred in the late 1980s bubble economy for as long as 20 years.

The scandal broke in October when former chief executive Michael Woodford claimed he was ousted by the firm’s board two weeks after his appointment for raising concerns about the company’s accounting practices.

More from GlobalPost: Olympus offices in Tokyo raided

Kikukawa’s home was one of 20 sites raided by Tokyo prosecutors in December. Olympus has sued 19 former and current executives over their role in the scandal.

According to the BBC, the company has said that all members of its 11-seat board subject to the lawsuit will resign by March or April, and that an emergency shareholder meeting has been called to elect new management.

Olympus’ shares have lost half their value since the scandal broke. 

More from GlobalPost: Olympus stock surges as firm sues its own executives

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