COVID-19 subsidy fraud suspect caught in Indonesia

A Japanese COVID-19 subsidy fraud suspect was arrested in Indonesia for allegedly violating immigration law.

Indonesian police on Wednesday said the local immigration authorities caught Taniguchi Mitsuhiro the previous day in Lampung Province about 280 kilometers from Jakarta.

The Japanese embassy in Jakarta had asked the Indonesian police to find Taniguchi after he left Japan for Indonesia in October 2020.

Taniguchi has been wanted in Japan on suspicion he told family members to swindle money from a government subsidy program for businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Japanese police arrested his former wife, a 45-year-old company executive, and her two sons in their 20s in Mie Prefecture in May.

The Japanese police are planning to have Taniguchi transferred to Japan.

Japanese investigators suspect the family fraudulently claimed at least 900 million yen, or about 7 million dollars. The Japanese Metropolitan Police Department is investigating.