SFO flies out to Sumitomo talks
Wednesday 26 June 1996
But an SFO spokesman said they were not expected to see Yasuo Hamanaka, the copper trader who lost pounds 1.2bn for his firm and possibly far more.
"They are to meet our counterparts in the Ministry of Justice to build close relations with the authorities over there," said the SFO.
The SFO team comprises Andrew Jackson, the lawyer conducting the inquiry, Michael O'Brien Kenney, a forensic accountant whose job is to trace the financial links in the fraud, and detective chief inspector Michael Fox of the City of London Police, who is working with the SFO.
The SFO indicated that the visit, which is likely to last only until the weekend, is aimed chiefly at doing the groundwork for a liaison between Japanese and British investigators. This is expected to last a long time, given the complexity of the inquiries into the fraud.
There are rumours Mr Hamanaka is being kept by the Japanese authorities in a "safe house" pending an interrogation.
But Japanese sources said it it was absurd to suggest he had been locked away by the authorities without charge.
One suggestion is that he has been hiding from the Japanese press since he was dismissed by Sumitomo two weeks ago. A Sumitomo spokesman said: "We are not in touch with Mr Hamanaka."
According to a report by the Japanese news agency Jiji Press, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission questioned Mr Hamanaka for two days in April, well before news of the loss came out.
London Metal Exchange copper yesterday dived to a new 21/2-year low in late afternoon trading on widespread and heavy selling which is bound to increase the losses of Sumitomo Corporation. So far it has rejected claims that these could mount as high as $4bn (pounds 2.6bn).
Some of the selling began just after a statement by Global Minerals and Metals of New York that two of its Chile-based traders had resigned for personal reasons in a development it said was not related to inquiries into losses at Sumitomo.
Three months delivery copper plunged to end at $1,745 a tonne, well down on Monday's $1,818 close. It earlier hit a high of $1,865.
"Copper is heading towards $1,600 ... There is little to stop it," a trader said.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
iJobs Money & Business
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: An exciting opportunity h...
$125 - $175 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Senior Wealth Manager In...
$200 - $350 per annum: Carlton Senior Appointments: Managing Producer Office...