4 Dec 2013

Diplomat arrested after fire at Japanese embassy

5:46 am on 4 December 2013

A Japanese diplomat has been arrested on suspicion of setting fire to his country's embassy in the Democratic Republic of Congo in June.

Shinya Yamada is being held in Tokyo over claims that he embezzled funds and then tried to destroy the evidence.

The foreign ministry said around $US260,000 had gone missing.

The BBC reports no-one was hurt in the fire, which damaged the building's fourth floor.

Mr Yamada, the third secretary at the Japanese embassy in Kinshasa, was reportedly in charge of accounting at the mission.

Police believe he embezzled embassy money to fuel his gambling habit before dumping petrol in his office and setting it ablaze.

He was the last person to leave the building on the day of the fire.

Police also found a petrol tank at his home in Kinshasa.