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.