• Kyodo

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A Chinese couple suspected of illegally remitting more than 10 billion yen to China through an underground bank they operated were arrested Wednesday, police said.

Saitama prefectural police identified the couple as Guo Tingyun, 37, unemployed and a resident of Tachikawa, western Tokyo, and his 35-year-old wife, Chen Fengying, who works at a restaurant. The police also raided their home Wednesday and confiscated a bank book and other items.

Both were arrested for overstaying their visas.

Guo also faces charges of violating the tax law for falsifying information in allegedly remitting money to China.

Police are also looking into charging the two with violating the bank law in connection with the underground operation. They are suspected of remitting the money via Hong Kong to mainland China on behalf of over 1,000 illegal Chinese residents in Japan, they said.

According to investigations, Guo allegedly gave a false address when filling in a remittance form to China at a financial institution in Tokyo on Aug. 6.

Chen is suspected of overstaying her visa for over five years.

Guo, who arrived in Japan in 1993 as a cook, allegedly began running the underground bank about a year later and received a 1 percent commission for every remittance, according to police.

Their clients were mostly Chinese residents in Osaka and other areas of the Kansai region, police said.

Such clandestine operations exist because illegal immigrants usually find it difficult to send money they earn in Japan to their home countries due to their unofficial status.

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