COVID-19 subsidy: Indonesia deports Japanese fugitive accused of fraud

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A Japanese fugitive, Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, accused of swindling about $7 million from a pandemic subsidy programme was deported from Indonesia on Wednesday, an immigration official said.

Taniguchi is accused by Japanese authorities of helping to steal 960 million yen ($7 million) intended for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Kyodo news.

The Japanese national allegedly submitted thousands of false applications for the subsidy programme and fled to Indonesia in October 2020 after he was put on the police wanted list.

Taniguchi’s ex-wife and two sons have been arrested in connection with the allegations, Japanese media have reported.

Taniguchi, who was arrested by Indonesian police on the island of Sumatra earlier this month, boarded a Narita-bound flight from Jakarta, Indonesian immigration official Douglas Simamore said in a statement.

“This man is being deported because the Japanese government has revoked his passport and he has no stay permit. From now on, he will be on our deterrence list,” he said.

Indonesian authorities said Mitsuhiro Taniguchi had told residents in Sumatra that he wanted to invest in fisheries in the area.



Reuters/Zainab Sa’id




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