Police: Suspect in COVID-19 subsidy scam was a registered resident of Dubai

Tokyo police arrested the alleged mastermind of a coronavirus subsidy scam on Monday, after he returned to Japan from Dubai. Investigators are trying to find out what the man was doing in the emirate, and why he came back.

Police say Matsue Daiki fraudulently received government subsidies in 2020 by falsely claiming that his income as the sole proprietor of a business had drastically fallen, due to the pandemic.

The 31-year-old suspect was arrested upon his return. Investigative sources say Matsue was registered as a resident of Dubai. He had been living there since February. They say the police only learned on Monday morning that he was coming back. They add that the authorities do not know why he returned.

Investigators say Matsue has not stated whether or not the allegations are true. They quote him as saying that he will only talk after his lawyer arrives.

Nine others have been arrested in connection with the subsidy scam. They include an employee of the Tokyo Regional Taxation Bureau. In addition, the names of seven people have been referred to prosecutors, but the individuals have not been detained.

Police say the group may have fraudulently received government subsidies worth a total of 200 million yen, or about 1.5 million dollars.