Police in Japan have long memories

Ex-diplomat held in gambling probe

A former Cote d'Ivoire diplomat, who was spirited out of Japan following involvement in a gambling bust back in 2005, found that the Japanese police have long memories when he tried to reenter the country this week.

The Kyodo News reports that Tokyo police arrested Charles Thierry Yozan (42) on suspicion of receiving some Yen 40 million from gambling sponsors in return for providing a room in an apartment block in Minato between March and October 2005. Yozan has denied the charges.

The newspaper recalls that Metropolitan Police Department investigators arrested the main gambling ring organisers and their customers during a baccarat game in an apartment in October 2005 and later found the room was leased to Yozan, who was then a diplomat at the Cote d'Ivoire Embassy in Tokyo.

In early 2006, the police asked the embassy through the Foreign Ministry to deprive Yozan of his diplomatic privileges and to cooperate in the gambling probe.

The embassy rejected the request and Yozan left Japan on March 30, 2006. Police seized Yozan when he arrived at Narita International Airport on May 22 on a private visit.

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