This news is originally published at http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20100105p2a00m0na011000c.html
More than 20 passports disappeared last month from the office of a Tokyo firm employed to accept visa applications by the Embassy of India.
Police are treating the disappearance as a theft, though they also suspect sloppy supervision of the passports -- probably stolen after they were put in a bag under a counter at the office -- may have been partly to blame.
According to police, the passports were taken from the Japan Overseas Corp. (JOC)'s India Visa Application Center. When employees arrived at the office in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward on the morning of Dec. 1, they found the door had been forced open and the bag containing the passports missing.
Apparently the office alarm had sounded early that morning, but a security guard who came to investigate did not notice the damage.
Police say the culprit most likely broke in looking for money and made off with the bag when the alarm sounded.
Meanwhile, the consular section of the Embassy of India stated that it is "undertaking all appropriate action for the visa applicants whose passports were stolen."