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Unlicensed investment group suspected of collecting 700 mil. yen

Ikuo Muramatsu is pictured on Jan. 16, 2019, when arriving at Maebashi Police Station, in Gunma Prefecture. (Kyodo)

MAEBASHI, Japan (kyodo) -- Police arrested the head of an investment group and two other men Wednesday for allegedly collecting 193 million yen ($1.8 million) without a proper business license and suspect the amount could reach 700 million yen.

    Toshikazu Yokoyama, 51, who managed Blue Oceans Ltd., and Hiroki Kurosawa, 57, and Ikuo Muramatsu, 61, were arrested on the charge of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law. The police searched homes the same day and are considering building a fraud case against the three.

    The three allegedly collected 193 million yen from nine investors in Gunma and Nagano prefectures between April 2014 and November 2015 without registering with the Financial Services Agency, according to the police.

    The three men are suspected of collecting a total of 700 million yen from at least 70 people in the two prefectures.

    The police launched an investigation after two women consulted them in December 2017, saying they had invested in a financial product that promised an annual dividend rate of 18 percent but had not received any returns from the investment.

    One of the investors put 110 million yen into the financial product, according to the police.

    Muramatsu, who is president of another company, appeared on a radio program in Nagano Prefecture as a financial planner.

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