Japan suspect in COVID relief fraud deported by Indonesia

Indonesia has deported a fugitive accused of masterminding a lucrative scheme in his native Japan to defraud a government fund offering COVID-19 relief subsidies..

Japan, COVID relief fraud

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JAKARTA – Indonesia today deported a fugitive accused of masterminding a lucrative scheme in his native Japan to defraud a government fund offering Covid-19 relief subsidies, officials said.

Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, appeared before reporters at an immigration office in the capital of Jakarta and was flown back to Tokyo on an early morning Japan Airlines flight following his arrest this month.

The Japanese national and several associates are accused of submitting false applications to claim ¥960 million ¥ (RM31.03 million) in Covid-19 relief funds meant for small businesses, according to Japanese media reports.

Official Douglas Orlando Andreas Simamora confirmed the Japanese national’s deportation to Tokyo’s Narita Airport in a news conference at the Directorate General of Immigration office.

The Soekarno-Hatta International Airport immigration office also said in a press release that “MT”, referring to the suspect by his initials, “has now been deported”.

Taniguchi was nabbed in a joint operation on June 7 between local police and immigration officers on the island of Sumatra after being located by the Japanese embassy and having his passport revoked by Tokyo.

The fugitive was using a limited-stay visa and was working in the country as a foreign investor helping locals to run fish farms, reportedly to raise money to appease his alleged collaborators. – AFP, June 22, 2022

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