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Japanese man arrested in Indonesia over COVID relief fraud

Immigration officers escort Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, of Japan, heart, earlier than a press convention at immigration workplace in Jakarta, Indonesia Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Authorities on the southern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island arrested a Japanese fugitive accused of fraud in Japan in reference to the receipt of an enormous quantity of COVID-19 subsidies for small companies in misery, police stated Wednesday.

  • Immigration officers escort Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, of Japan, center, before a press conference at immigration office in Jakarta, Indonesia Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Authorities on the southern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island arrested a Japanese fugitive accused of fraud in Japan in connection with the receipt of a massive amount of COVID-19 subsidies for small businesses in distress, police said Wednesday.
  • Immigration officers escort Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, of Japan, center, before a press conference at immigration office in Jakarta, Indonesia Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Authorities on the southern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island arrested a Japanese fugitive accused of fraud in Japan in connection with the receipt of a massive amount of COVID-19 subsidies for small businesses in distress, police said Wednesday.
  • Immigration officers escort Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, of Japan, center, before a press conference at immigration office in Jakarta, Indonesia Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Authorities on the southern tip of Indonesia's Sumatra island arrested a Japanese fugitive accused of fraud in Japan in connection with the receipt of a massive amount of COVID-19 subsidies for small businesses in distress, police said Wednesday.

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Authorities on Indonesia’s Sumatra island arrested a Japanese fugitive accused of serving to steal $7.3 million supposed for small companies in Japan harm by the coronavirus, police stated Wednesday.

Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, was arrested late Tuesday at a home owned by a fish dealer in Central Lampung district by immigration officers backed by native police, Nationwide Police spokesperson Dedi Prasetyo stated.

“He instructed the home proprietor that he needs to put money into fisheries within the space,” Prasetyo stated, including that Taniguchi had stayed on the home for about two weeks earlier than authorities situated him.

Taniguchi was wished by Japanese police for COVID-19 subsidy fraud and left Japan for Indonesia in October 2020, Prasetyo stated.

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Taniguchi and a gaggle of acquaintances allegedly submitted about 1,700 false functions for COVID-19 reduction funds. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Division believes they acquired subsidies for greater than 960 of these functions totaling an estimated 960 million yen ($7.3 million), Prasetyo stated.

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Taniguchi, who has been wished by Japanese police since early Might, has been handed over to the Directorate of Immigration’s Supervision and Enforcement Division, he stated.

The suspect, sporting a face masks, quick pants and an immigration detainee’s orange vest, was introduced by police to a information convention Wednesday within the capital, Jakarta. He made no remark.

Nyoman Gede Surya Mataram, an immigration official, stated on the information convention that days earlier than the arrest, Japanese Embassy officers knowledgeable his workplace that that they had revoked Taniguchi’s passport and that the suspect had final been seen within the Lampung space.

“His presence in Indonesia turned unlawful after the Japanese authorities revoked his passport,” Prasetyo stated.

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A diplomat on the embassy, Miyagawa Takayuki, stated authorities of the 2 international locations are coordinating on his deportation.

Tokyo police arrested Taniguchi’s ex-wife and their two sons on Might 30 on suspicion of fraud and positioned Taniguchi on a global wished record, in line with the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun. It stated the three are suspected of defrauding the federal government of three million yen ($22,500) in COVID-19 subsidies from June to August 2020.

The scheme was uncovered in August 2020 when the workplace providing the subsidies consulted with Tokyo police. Taniguchi is believed to have fled Japan two months later, the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported.

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