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General News of Wednesday, 19 March 2014


Tokyo police investigates Ghana Embassy in casino raid

Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the raid earlier this month of a casino in the Shibuya entertainment area connected to the Embassy of Ghana, reports TV Asahi (Mar. 19).

On March 5 at 11:30 p.m., officers arrested manager Hiroyuki Yamanoi, 35, and nine other employees for providing illegal baccarat gambling inside a casino occupying the entire sixth floor of a multi-tenant building located in Dogenzaka. Two customers on the premises at the time were also taken into custody.

Officers seized two baccarat tables and 12 million yen in cash, according to public broadcaster NHK (Dec. 19).

In September of 2012, a rental contract requiring payment of 500,000 yen per month was written using the name of the previous ambassador to Ghana. The document was signed at the ambassador’s official residence and supported by diplomatic identification.

In March of last year, the name on the contract was changed to that of the current ambassador, Edmond Kofi Agbenutse Deh.

The name of the ambassador appeared on a placard placed at the entrance of the casino. The ambassador also reportedly visited the casino.

“I thought diplomatic immunity was applicable through the Embassy of Ghana, and we would not be caught by the police,” one of the suspects is quoted by investigators.

Over the past 17 months, the operation collected 200 million yen in revenue.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun (Mar. 19), a casino paying remuneration to a diplomat with the Embassy of Côte d’Ivoire was busted in 2010.