Police raid Bigmotor headquarters over alleged tree deaths due to weed killer

Japanese police are searching the headquarters of used car dealer chain Bigmotor in relation to alleged use of weed killer leading to deaths of trees along sidewalks outside some of its shops.

The firm is under scrutiny for allegedly filing fraudulent insurance claims after carrying out unnecessary repair work. Tree deaths by weed killer or other means near Bigmotor outlets have also drawn public attention.

Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectural police jointly launched the raid in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Friday morning. About 30 officers are searching for evidence of destruction of public property.

Earlier this month, the police searched 12 Bigmotor outlets in Tokyo and Kanagawa prefectures after weed killer ingredients were detected or trees were found cut down on nearby roadsides.

Police suspect the firm may have carried out systematic use of weed killer and other misconduct on public property.