Two Diplomats Accused of Kickback Scheme

From Times Wire Reports

Two diplomats were arrested on charges that they pocketed more than $96,700 in a kickback scandal involving limousine rentals for last year’s Group of 8 summit, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Hiromu Kobayashi, 45, assistant section chief of the ministry’s Economic Affairs Bureau, and his subordinate, Tsutomu Okuma, 38, are accused of instructing a car-hire firm to overbill the government in exchange for taxi and highway toll coupons, the ministry said. Such coupons can be exchanged for cash.

Kobayashi and Okuma were in charge of hiring cars to shuttle Japanese officials who were working in Tokyo on preparations for the summit in Okinawa last July.