Ex-Tenma officials indicted for bribery in Vietnam

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Tokyo public prosecutors indicted three former executives at plastic goods maker Tenma Corp. on Monday on charges of paying bribes worth ¥23.6 million to Vietnamese tax officials.

The three include Kaneto Fujino, a 69-year-old former Tenma president, who were indicted without arrest on charges of violating the unfair competition prevention law. Tenma was also indicted on the same charges.

The investigation by the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office came after it received a voluntary report of wrongdoing by the company. The prosecutors’ office had requested the assistance of Vietnamese investigators.

The other two former Tenma executives are Tsutomu Hosogoe, a 57-year-old former chief of the company’s corporate planning department, and Haruhiko Yoshida, a 51-year-old former president of subsidiary Tenma Vietnam Co.

The three former executives allegedly distributed 2 billion dong (¥9.4 million) to a customs official in Bac Ninh Province in the southeast Asian country as a reward for reducing a surcharge of nearly ¥1.8 billion in June 2017, according to the indictment and other sources.

Hosogoe and Yoshida were also accused of handing 3 billion dong (¥14.1 million) to a tax official in the province who demanded a payment worth some ¥80 million as a surcharge for unpaid corporate tax in August 2019.

Fujino approved the 2017 bribery in advance, sources familiar with the matter said. On the 2019 bribery, he initially refused to approve it, but finally gave his approval at an executive meeting, the sources said.

After the bribes were provided, Bac Ninh customs authorities no longer demanded surcharges, and the demands of tax authorities in the province were reduced to about ¥2 million.

The string of bribes was reported at a board meeting of Tenma in November 2019.