The police, justice and financial services authorities have decided to do something about the black-market sale of bank accounts established for fraud crimes, according to National Police Agency officials.
There is currently no law prohibiting the unauthorized sale of bank accounts. The authorities are considering revising the law covering personal identification requirements, banning the sale of accounts without approval from relevant financial institutions and stipulating penalties for violations, the officials said.
“To prevent people from falling victim to such crimes, it is important to create a mechanism to make it impossible to buy and sell accounts inappropriately,” NPA Commissioner General Iwao Uruma told a news conference on Thursday.
He also welcomed a plan by cell-phone service provider NTT DoCoMo to abolish its prepaid mobile handsets, saying: “This is progress in crime prevention. I would be grateful if other companies would follow suit.”
While ordinary mobile phones require registration procedures, some shops selling prepaid phones have been lax in checking purchasers’ identification, making it difficult for law enforcement authorities to track people who use such phones for criminal activities.
The authorities will hasten efforts to compile a revision bill and plan to submit it to the extraordinary Diet session scheduled to begin Tuesday, according to the officials.
Traded bank accounts are often used in crimes, such as the “Ore, ore” (“It’s me”) phone scam in which people pose as relatives in urgent need of money and ask for cash to be transferred to a designated bank account.
In other cases, fraudsters have mailed out fabricated bills charging people for services they did not receive.
Victims are usually instructed to deposit money into the traded accounts, which have been opened in somebody else’s name.
Police have been acting against those who open accounts with the purpose of selling them on the charge of fraud, as well as those who buy such accounts, on the charge of purchasing stolen items.
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