This month in (financial) history.
On the morning of 10 December 1968, four Nippon Trust Bank employees were transporting almost 300 million yen in a company car. That’s equivalent to about $25 million Aussie in today’s dollars. The metal boxes in the car’s boot contained bonuses for Toshiba’s Fuchu factory employees.
Just 200 metres from their destination, the bank staff were stopped in the street by a young uniformed officer on a police motorcycle. The officer informed them that their branch manager’s house had been blown up, and they had received a warning that dynamite had been planted in the transport car. The four employees exited the vehicle while the officer crawled under the car to locate the bomb.
Moments later, the employees noticed smoke and flames under the car as the officer rolled out, shouting that it was about to explode. When the employees retreated, the police officer hopped into the car and drove away. This would become notorious as Japan’s largest ever heist.
After a seven-year investigation without success, police announced in December 1975 that the statute of limitations on the crime had passed. And in 1988, the thief was also relieved of any civil liabilities, allowing them to tell their story without fear of legal repercussions. So far, no one has come forward, and the case remains unsolved to this day.
Vaguely interesting facts.
- The wood frog can hold off going to the toilet for up to eight months.
- Tsundoku is the act of acquiring books or other reading materials and not reading them.
- Jim Henson made his first Kermit puppet using his mother’s old coat and two halves of a ping pong ball.
- According to Welsh tradition, any infant whose nails are cut before the age of six months will become a thief.
- When he was sworn in as US president in 1789, George Washington had only one tooth remaining in his mouth. *
Source: mentalfloss.com, wikipedia.com.
* This final surviving tooth was finally pulled by Dr. John Greenwood in 1796. Washington allowed his dentist to retain this famous tooth as a momento. Greenwood eventually had the tooth inserted into a small glass display that he hung from his watch chain. Contrary to popular myth, George Washington’s replacement dentures were not made of wood. Instead, throughout his life, Washington employed numerous full and partial dentures constructed of materials including his own and others’ teeth. Other theories as to what was incorporated into Washington’s false teeth include cow and horse teeth, ivory, lead-tin alloy, copper alloy, and silver alloy.
And finally…bonus fact
According to a Japanese study, looking at cute animal pictures can boost your focus.