Olympus whistleblower on arrest of top officials (update with Olympus reaction)
February 16, 2012
Olympus scandal whistleblower Michael Woodford (pictured) has welcomed the arrests of seven men overnight, including a former Olympus president, as vindication for four months of ‘hell’.
‘After going to hell and back, this is a day to remember. No other words are necessary,’ said Woodford, who was instrumental in exposing a £1.1 billion accounting cover-up at the historic camera maker.
Ex-Olympus president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa (pictured below, with Woodford) and former executive vice-president Hisashi Mori were among the top officials arrested by police and prosecutors.
Woodford was sensationally sacked last October after accusing fellow board members of wrongdoing, which Olympus later admitted after strenuously denying that it had cooked the books.
Hideo Yamada, a former Olympus auditor, was also among those arrested in connection with a suspected breach of the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.
The four others named by officials include ex-bankers Akio Nakagawa and Nobumasa Yokoo.
Investigations into the scandal are ongoing. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office and the FBI in the United States have launched separate probes into the Olympus affair which led the firm’s share price to plummet by up to around 80%.
[Picture credit: C Cheesman]
PICTURE: Woodford with Olympus chairman Tsuyoshi Kikukawa, as pictured in the company’s annual report last year, published on the company’s website