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Police search Mitsui in filter scandal

TOKYO, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Tokyo police have searched Mitsui & Co. for evidence that the company fabricated test data on a diesel particulate filter to meet government standards.

Following a complaint filed by the Tokyo city government, more than 100 police officers Monday searched the head office of Mitsui & Co. and at least 10 other locations, Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday.

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The city government offers subsidies to cover part of the cost of filters that meet certain standards in removing harmful particulates from automobile exhaust.

Tokyo accused Mitsui of illegally obtaining 57 million yen ($548,000) in subsidies in 2002 through the sale of 62 substandard filters to the government's Transportation Bureau.

Mitsui applied for Tokyo government approval of its filter in February 2002. However, the company submitted test results for a different filter, according to the criminal complaint.

The company said Friday that four people were involved in the fabrications of the test data; two Mitsui employees and a vice president and an employee of Mitsui subsidiary PUREarth Inc., the manufacturer of the filters.

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