A 24-year-old Japanese man has vanished after stealing approximately equivalent of $358,000 in Covid relief funds designated for all households in the Yamaguchi Prefecture town of Abu. According to local news outlet Japan Today, the entire cash was transmitted to him thanks to a clerical error by the town’s administrators.
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The funds were allocated to the 463 homes in the Japanese town last month. The individual in question was one of many who were eligible for assistance.
The local authorities, on the other hand, forwarded the names and addresses of the intended recipients to a bank, together with a transfer order. According to local media, the bank mistook the man’s account information for a proxy account to which all of the funds was to be deposited before being allocated to the beneficiaries’ accounts.
Hideaki Nakamura, the mayor of Abu, apologized for the clerical blunder, and town officials attempted to contact the guy to recover the funds. On April 8, the man learned that he had won the lottery. He allegedly started withdrawing little sums from his bank account on a regular basis for roughly two weeks to escape suspicion.
The recipient of the mistake did not inform the officials until April 21, when the Covid swindler eventually confessed to receiving the funds. He did, nonetheless, notify authorities that the entire cash had been spent and could not be recovered. He did promise, though, that he would not elude justice. He stated, “I will pay for my crime.”
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Because the money was given to the individual voluntarily, it was assumed that he could not be charged with any crime. As a result, it was not until May 12 that the town resolved to file charges and demand the money returned.
However, the accused had broken the commitment. He would quit his job, emptied his bank account, and disappeared. The Japanese government has been condemned by several analysts for the error. “The officials gave him enough time to make his escape. That’s for sure,” one of Japan Today’s readers stated.