July 12, 2018
Tokyo- Japanese police plan to refer Kobe Steel Ltd.'s product data falsification to public prosecutors for possible indictment, informed sources said Wednesday.
Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department suspects the company of violating the unfair competition prevention law.
The police department and the Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office have been jointly investing the data falsification since Kobe Steel disclosed the misconduct in October.
Kobe Steel has said it had falsified quality data for aluminum, copper and other products that do not meet standards promised to customers.
Such products, used in automobiles, aircraft and others, were shipped to a total of 688 customers at home and abroad.
The data falsification started in the 1970s at the latest. Three people, who were Kobe Steel executives at the time when the scandal came to light, had been aware of it but turned a blind eye.
Two former Kobe Steel officials were directly involved in the data falsification before becoming executives.
The focus of the investigation is whether Kobe Steel officials will be criminally charged. The police and prosecutors' office searched related locations, including Kobe Steel's Tokyo head office, in June. Jiji Press
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