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An official of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has been arrested on suspicion of running a telephone date club without a permit, police said Wednesday.

Tadashi Hiura, 28, of Tokyo’s Toshima Ward, allegedly ran a telephone club out of his house between February and May but failed to report the business to the Tokyo Public Safety Commission, according to police.

A telephone club manager is required by law to apply for a business license with local authorities.

Hiura forwarded calls from female customers to male customers through his “Lovelove” telephone club, police sources said.

The suspect allegedly invested about 8 million yen in advertising, equipment and an office to start the business. He borrowed money from nonbank lenders and moved out of his dormitory into the office.

Police said he only earned 8,200 yen from the telephone club. They quoted the suspect as saying he had tried to make some extra money through the telephone club because a civil servant’s salary is so low.

According to the farm ministry, the suspect is from Niigata Prefecture and joined the ministry in 1990.

He belongs to the Information Division of the Statistics and Information Department.