Authorities Monday arrested the former chairman of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. on suspicion of bribery in a stock-profiteering scandal that has shaken Japan's political and business elite.

The Tokyo district prosecutor's office said Hisashi Shinto, 78, was arrested with his 63-year-old secretary, Kozo Murata, on suspicion of receiving bribes in the form of bargain-price shares in a subsidiary of the Recruit Co., a conglomerate with business links to the giant telecommunications utility.Authorities also said they searched Shinto's home.

Shinto was known as an advocate of clean government and business until December, when he was forced to resign from the chairmanship of NTT as a result of the scandal.