Police Conduct Search Over Former AUM Member’s Mysterious Death

TOKYO, Sept. 25–Police searched several locations in Tokyo on Saturday in connection with the mysterious death earlier this month of a former female member of the AUM Shinrikyo cult.

A woman who lives in an apartment in Tokyo’s Nerima Ward called the police Sept. 11, saying the 36-year-old former member was found dead in the morning at the apartment after taking medicine overnight, investigators said.

The police searched the apartment as well as several other locations.

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The former member is believed to belong to a cult called Keroyon, they said.

A 35-year-old man, another former AUM member who belongs to Keroyon, told the police she died during an exercise in which she was beaten with a bamboo sword, the investigators said.

AUM renamed itself Aleph in January 2000 in an effort to distance itself from its criminal image, but it remains under surveillance by the Public Security Intelligence Agency.

Senior AUM cadres have been convicted for a series of crimes, including the 1995 sarin attack in the Tokyo subway system.

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Koyodo News Service, Japan
Sep. 25, 2004

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