Tokyo Police announced on Friday that they have arrested two former Bandai employees — Takashi Udatsu (44) and Takao Kurokawa (66) — for fraud related to the life-size Gundam statue in Tokyo’s Odaiba district. The two men have been accused of asking a contractor to overcharge Bandai by 10 million yen (about US$91,000) in 2013 for building the statue and organizing a related event. They then allegedly pocketed the extra money themselves.
Police also suspect that the two used similar means to obtain about 200 million yen (US$1.8 million) between July 2013 and November 2016.
Udatsu has admitted to the charges while Kurokawa has denied the charges.
A statue portraying the RX-78-2 mobile suit from the first Mobile Suit Gundam series was unveiled at Odaiba’s Shiokaze Park in 2009. It relocated to Shizuoka City in 2010 before it was dismantled and rebuilt outside the Diver City Mall in Odaiba in 2012. It stood there until it was replaced by a transforming life-size RX-0 Unicorn Gundam (from Mobile Suit Gundam UC) in 2017.