An enterprising Reuters reporter has tracked down a Japanese banker who played a key role in the Olympus scandal. According to Reuters, Akio Nakagawa “exploded in anger at finally being tracked down” in Hong Kong, where he lived in an upscale district near the city’s financial centre.
'Missing' Banker Linked to Olympus Scandal Found in Hong Kong
Nakagawa has been identified along with another ‘missing’ banker in the US, Hajime Sagawa, as the principals of two now defunct investment vehicles that received US$687 million in advisory fees in connection with Olympus’s takeover of Britain’s Gyrus Group in 2008. Olympus now admits that the fees were inflated in order to cover up part of investment losses it suffered from the 1990s.
Olympus had said that it no longer had any contact with Nakagawa or Sagawa since the deal they worked on had long been completed. But now that Nakagawa’s whereabouts are known, Japanese investigators, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Britain’s Serious Fraud Office will presumably move to interview him and learn more about the Gyrus takeover.
Japan is particularly interested because the Yakuza, the country’s feared organised crime syndicate, is alleged to have received payments from Olympus. The company denies the allegation, saying that the inflated amounts were all used to hide the investment losses.
Reuters describes Nakagawa as tanned, tall and slim, and appeared to be in his 60s. He was with a middle-aged woman and was walking into the marbled foyer with some grocery bags.
“Get out of here,” he yelled in English at the Reuters reporter. He refused to answer questions about the Olympus scandal and demanded that the concierge usher the reporter out. At one point, he told the concierge to call the police.
Meanwhile, Sagawa’s whereabouts are still unknown, according to Reuters. His wife Ellen told another Reuters reporter that she did not know where he is. The couple have reportedly filed for divorce after the Olympus scandal broke.
However, Sagawa is understood to have been interviewed by the FBI, which is likely to want to talk to Nakagawa as well.