2 National Civil Servants Arrested for Coronavirus Benefit Fraud

Society

Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo police have arrested two employees of the National Printing Bureau on suspicion of fraudulently obtaining coronavirus-related financial aid from the government.

Arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday for alleged fraud were Yuya Obo, 21, a resident of the city of Kawaguchi in Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo, and Ryo Shiiba, 20, a resident of Tokyo's Kita Ward. The two have admitted to the allegations against them, investigative sources said.

Employees of the National Printing Bureau, which is supervised by the Finance Ministry, have a status of national civil servant. It is the first time that national civil servants have been arrested for alleged fraud over the government scheme to provide financial aid to small firms and self-employed people hit hard by the fallout of the novel coronavirus epidemic, according to the MPD.

Obo and Shiiba are suspected of defrauding the state out of a total of 2 million yen in aid under the scheme by applying for the benefits with the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency in June through disguising themselves as sole proprietors. In seeking the aid, they submitted fake tax return documents to the agency, the sources said.

The two were also found to have given instructions to some National Printing Bureau workers of the same generation as them on how to fraudulently obtain financial aid under the government program. Obo may have given such advice also to dozens of people outside of the printing bureau through social media for commission fees, according to the sources.

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Jiji Press