This is a bizarre case with too little information in comparison to the amount of damage.
On November 29, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Investigation Section arrested a 32-year-old employee of Sony Life Insurance’s finance department, Melody Ishii. The suspect is suspected of fraudulently transferring approximately 17 billion yen from an affiliated subsidiary to an account in the United States in May of this year.
The suspect was in charge of the liquidation of a subsidiary, S.A. Reinsurance (Bermuda). It was a small department, and there was only one supervisor to check on things. In May, when the crime is believed to have taken place, he was working from home under a declared state of emergency, so it was difficult for him to be monitored. Taking advantage of such a gap, he disguised his supervisor’s approval and gave instructions to transfer money from the subsidiary’s US account to a US bank. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department has requested the cooperation of the FBI, and they are working together to clarify the situation.
According to a Sony Life official, there was no problem with Ishii’s work attitude. The motive also remains unclear. The biggest mystery is where a young employee in his early thirties sent the tremendous sum of 17 billion yen. Yasuhei Ogawa, a crime journalist, is focusing on the existence of accomplices.
It is impossible for one person to move such a large amount of money. I think there is an international crime syndicate behind it. In the U.S., there are many unauthorized accounts that are breeding grounds for fraud and other crimes. If the money is sent from one account to another immediately after it is transferred, there is no telling where it will end up. It is a skilled organized crime.
Mr. Hiroshi Mikami, an IT journalist, believes that the money has already been transformed into virtual currencies.
In the past, the money was converted into chips at casinos, but this time, the amount is so huge that it is unlikely. In the past, they would have converted the money into casino chips, but this time, the amount is too huge to be converted into virtual currency. It is possible that the money is being distributed to banks in Switzerland and other countries with lax anti-money laundering measures and converted into virtual currency to prevent it from being traced.
Another question is why Sony Life was so sloppy in its management. What were they doing for the first six months after the incident? What were they doing for the first six months of the incident, and do they have any idea where the money will be sent? Sony Life responded as follows.
Sony Life answered, “We have already booked 17 billion yen as an extraordinary loss. We will continue to work on clarifying the whole situation.
There is still a long way to go to resolve this issue.
Photo by： Shinji Hasuo