Police Raid Failed Mail Order Biz Operator Kefir

Society

Tokyo, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)--Police raided the Tokyo head office of failed mail order business operator Kefir Inc., which attracted large amounts of investment from consumers under a so-called ownership program, for a suspected violation of the investment law.

The raid marked the start of a criminal investigation by Tokyo's Metropolitan Police Department into the large-scale consumer damage case involving Kefir, which went bankrupt last year, with the total number of creditors seen exceeding 30,000 and debts of some 100 billion yen.

The company is suspected to have illegally collected a total of some 3.1 million yen from four people, including a 68-year-old woman in the city of Yokohama, south of Tokyo, between February and June last year, guaranteeing the principal and promising to pay high interest, an official familiar with the investigation said.

According the Consumer Affairs Agency, Kefir solicited investment in such products as dried persimmons and yogurt, in a minimum lot of 50,000 yen, with a promise to return the money with an interest of about 10 pct under the ownership system.

In response to many consumer complaints about delays in payments, the agency warned the public about the problem last August by disclosing the name of the company.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press