A working team of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will sponsor legislation aimed at releasing fraud victims’ money from criminals’ bank accounts, sources close to team members said Monday.

The team aims to have the bills passed by the Diet during the regular session opening next January, the sources said.

An investigation by the team found that about 6.8 billion yen is sitting in accounts that have been frozen on suspicion they were used by criminals who conned victims into transferring money.

Because regulations stipulate that funds in bank accounts belong to the holders of the accounts, it leaves fraud victims little choice but to file a lawsuit to get back their money, which more often than not is a time-consuming and costly process.

The planned legislation would seek to return money to the victims out of bank accounts used to commit the fraud, without the consent of account holders.

The LDP team faces a host of obstacles to working out a viable scheme to help the victims and plans to convene a meeting later this month to sort out those problems.

For instance, the money lost by a victim might exceed the amount of cash left in the bank account. In such a case, the victim might get a share of the account in proportion to the amount they lost.

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