Japanese police officials yesterday [Wednesday] decided to question five former executives at Snow Brands Food Company, under accusation of defrauding a meat business industry association of ¥195m (US$1.5m) by mislabelling imported beef as domestic to benefit from subsidies.

Based in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, Snow Brand Foods was dissolved last month.

One of the five former executives is a 55 year-old former meat sales and purchase department manager at the Tokyo HQ, who is alleged to have played a leading role in the mislabelling scam.

The four other executives who face interrogation are a former manager of the Tokyo HQ’s ham and meat department, a division manager of its meat sales and purchase department, and the former heads of the Kansai meat center in Itami, Hyogo Prefecture, and the Kanto meat center in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture