KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian police said Tuesday they were investigating the disappearance of more than 700,000 ultrathin condoms which went missing in transit between Malaysia and Japan.
Sagami Rubber Industries, Japan's first condom maker, said last week that the shipment was loaded into a container at its factory in northern Malaysia, but that it was empty with the locks replaced when it arrived in Tokyo.
"We take the matter of the missing condoms very seriously... we are investigating the matter," a Malaysian police spokesman told AFP.
Sato Koji, manager of the Sagami rubber factory in Malaysia's Perak state, said they had lodged a police report over the loss of the shipment.
"We are unhappy over the incident. This is the first time such a thing has happened since our Malaysian production started in 1997," he told AFP.
Officials at Sagami's head office have said that the prophylactics, which it bills as being 14 percent thinner than conventional ones, are worth 1.5 million dollars at Japanese retail prices.
Freight forwarders say goods being shipped out of Malaysia go missing routinely and that many cases are inside jobs.
"There are locks, seals and checklists provided by freight forwarders and shipping lines for every part of the journey from factory to destination so it is very easy to find out where and when they were tampered with or changed," said Air Freight Forwarders Association of Malaysia head Walter Cullas.
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