2 Japanese Officials Arrested for COVID-19 Subsidy Fraud

Society Politics

Tokyo, June 25 (Jiji Press)--Tokyo police arrested two Japanese industry ministry officials on Friday for allegedly cheating the government out of COVID-19 relief money.

The Metropolitan Police Department arrested Makoto Sakurai and Yutaro Arai, who are both 28 years old and working for the ministry's Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, on suspicion of fraud.

They are suspected of swindling the ministry out of some 5.5 million yen in rent subsidies provided to struggling sole proprietors and small businesses.

Sakurai and Arai allegedly applied for subsidies under the program using false documents around December and received the money the following month, the police said.

The two were high school classmates. Arai is believed to have prepared the bogus documents and filed the application, the police said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press