National / Crime & Legal

Osaka couple held for receiving child care allowance for missing son

Kyodo

A 35-year-old man from Sakai, Osaka Prefecture, and his 32-year-old wife were arrested on suspicion of unlawfully receiving child care allowances for a boy who was last seen about three years ago and would be 4 now, investigators said Tuesday.

According to the investigators, Suguru Kajimoto, a reinforcement bar worker, and his wife, Chiho, were arrested on suspicion of fraud for allegedly receiving roughly ¥360,000 between April last year and February. They have reportedly denied committing fraud but are refusing to reveal the fate of their son, Tatsuki.

Kajimoto initially told the police that his son suffered a fatal fall from a stairway and that he dumped the boy’s corpse into the sea, but then he later refused to disclose his son’s whereabouts. His wife said Kajimoto took their son away around last Christmas and she doesn’t know where he is. The police are investigating the disappearance.

According to Sakai Municipal Government officials, Tatsuki was born in January 2012 and had been placed in an infant home. His parents started living with him in January 2014 in Matsubara, Osaka Prefecture.

The officials said the couple moved from Matsubara to Sakai last December. The Matsubara Municipal Government had notified Sakai officials that they had six times postponed a scheduled medical checkup for the boy in July last year when he was 3.

Sakai officials went to the Kajimoto household and phoned the residence several times in April and May, but were told by the parents that their son was staying at a relative’s house.

The Sakai officials alerted the police in May after they failed to find the boy at the relative’s house. The police meanwhile managed to account for the whereabouts of the boy’s three siblings.

They said a nephew of the Kajimoto couple was confirmed in 2012 to have been missing since immediately after he was born in Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture, nine years earlier. The police arrested four relatives, including the couple, on suspicion of fraud and are investigating the boy’s whereabouts.