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Mobster held over training subsidies

Kyodo

The boss of a yakuza organization affiliated with the Dojin-kai, an organized crime syndicate based in Kurume, Fukuoka Prefecture, was arrested Monday on charges of illegally taking government subsidies, police said.

The yakuza group run by Masataka Mikasa, 37, used a dummy company to run fake job training courses and accept entitlements from the labor ministry, according to the Fukuoka Prefectural Police.

They said the company participated in an emergency human resources development support project.

Between April and August 2011, the yakuza organization misused a total of ¥8.1 million in government subsidies, they said.

Mikasa, whom police had been looking for, turned himself in Monday. They did not say if he had admitted to the charges.

The police said his wife, Hitomi Mikasa, 30, and the president of the dummy company were among 14 other suspects who had been arrested as of Sunday.

The 14 men and women aged 20 to 50, including a 20-year-old female caregiver from Kashima, Saga Prefecture, and a 30-year-old painter from Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, allegedly passed themselves off as having participated in a financial planner training program run by the dummy firm.

The sessions were supposedly held in an apartment building in Ureshino, Saga Prefecture. According to investigative officers, the dummy company rented an office on the first floor of the three-story building.

The group arranged training sessions in 2011 to meet the government’s requirements to be eligible for the entitlements, investigators said.

A 41-year-old woman who lives nearby said that in spring 2011 she saw about 10 computers through the office window. She said that although the lights were on, she saw hardly anyone entering or leaving the office.

A 52-year-old company worker who lives nearby said she had seen several black luxury cars lining up at the parking lot, some of which bore license plates from different prefectures.