Olympus executives arrested

Police in Japan have fingered the collar of three former executives of Olympus over their role in an alleged $1.7 billion accounting fraud.

The three had been identified by an investigative panel, which was commissioned by the company, as the main culprits in the alleged fraud. Apparently they were trying to cover risky investments that Olympus made in the late-1980’s bubble economy.

Ex-President Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, former Executive Vice President Hisashi Mori and former auditor Hideo Yamada have all been arrested on suspicion of violating the Financial Instruments and Exchange Law.

Four others have been arrested including former bankers Akio Nakagawa and Nobumasa Yokoo who is alleged to have helped executives hide huge investment losses through complex deals.

Olympus is banking on an April meeting marking a turning point in the scandal, with at least six of its 11 member board, including President Shuichi Takayama, set to resign.

According to Reuters, his successor will be one of three board members the panel said were not responsible for the cover-up, to wit Masataka Suzuki, Kazuhiro Watanabe and Shinichi Nishigaki.