crime

Saitama welfare official threatened into giving out executive-level salary worth of benefits

18 Comments
By SoraNews24

Welfare systems can be tricky business in any country and Japan is no different. On one hand there are complaints of extreme insensitivity on the part of officials, while on the other are complaints of the public abusing the system.

And then there’s a whole different breed of problem that emerged in Sakura Ward of Saitama City. On May 25, a 43-year-old employee was fired after it was discovered that he funneled extra welfare benefits to a single household, totaling 12.71 million yen.

The payments were spread out over a 10-month period from April of last year to January of this year. To put this in perspective, the average entry-level executive and management salary in Japan is estimated at about 12 million even, which this household surpassed in less than a year.

When the municipal government noticed the large payout, an investigation was launched and the employee responsible said that he had received “relentless threatening phone calls and e-mails” demanding that he bypass standard procedures to allot this household extra money.

The people responsible for the threats have not been reported, but according to the Sakura Ward office, two of the employee’s supervisors were also docked two months’ pay as punishment for the oversight.

Readers of the news online felt that was all well and good, but desperately wanted the main perpetrators caught and held accountable.

“Print the name of the person who made the threats and arrest them.”

“Why did they fire him? It wasn’t a mistake. He was scared for his life.”

“The real mystery is why it took them 10 months to find this.”

“That would have been 15 million yen a year, equal to the salary of management at a top company.”

“1.2 million a month, and I’m working like a sucker.”

“I wonder if this is a yakuza scam, and they’re scared to go after the beneficiary.”

“It’s ironic that a welfare recipient put someone else out of a job.”

“Whoever that was is a skilled pro at not working.”

“I understand why they fired the guy, but why isn’t the beneficiary arrested?”

This appears to still be early in the proceedings and proving that the employee was responsible was relatively easy. However, it might take some deeper investigation to determine who made the threats and if the beneficiary was even involved before any arrests can be made.

It may be a lead that the suspect here demanded Japanese yen, suggesting the work of a pro rather than previous would-be extortionists who misguidedly demanded Bitcoin from rural municipal offices.

Sources: NHK News Web, CareerCross, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Bomb threats for Bitcoin bewilder local governments in Japan who couldn’t pay if they wanted to

-- Osaka welfare clerk denies application, suggests woman seek work in the sex industry

-- Government worker leaves water running for a month, forced to pay half the 6,000,000-yen bill

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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Correction: It should have read "special permanent resident" family.

Sorry for the error.

BASED,

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

That single household was likely a "zainichi" family milking the system. It's probably why those responsible for making the threats were not reported (couldn't be reported, that is).

Correction: It should have read "special permanent resident" family.

Sorry for the error.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Boku DayoMay 31  11:06 am JST

That single household was likely a "zainichi" family milking the system. It's probably why those responsible for making the threats were not reported (couldn't be reported, that is).

And this racist comment get left up?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Reminds me of the story of that guy who workd for Shinjuku Park and was frightened into not charging foreigners entering the park. Grow one. You've got the whole government on your side.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

12.71 million yen.

The payments were spread out over a 10-month

That makes it 1.2 million Yen a month. What is striking is the fact that nobody noticed during that time and it lasted a full 10 months. That raises some red flags, because even 1 million yen a month is not a small sum of cash. Especially, considering how difficult financial operations here are.

What is astounding is also the fact, I wasn't able to find info about the household where the money was send. He was threatened, I get it. But it makes him just a partner in crime. But obviously, the police doesn't see it so, making him probably the only perpetrator.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That's why I don't answer my phone.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@expat

It is AVERAGE.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@oyatoi

After the official’s transfer from Omiya ward to Sakura ward, the beneficiary moved there as well and the shakedown continued.

Stranger and stranger. There are a lot of deliberate obfuscations in scams in Japan. The intricacies of Japanese bureaucracy are made to obscure the uninitiated, to the benefit of the crooks inside and outside government.

But coming from a Western context, without some intimate connection, how does a welfare recipient threaten a social worker bureaucrat into disbursing an executive level salary as welfare? How would it be approved?

Simple extortion would be a possibility but the paper trail in making the extortion money in the form of welfare payments and the record of emails and calls make no sense at all.

Except in the context of larger malfeasance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Surprising what a little digging around can unearth. After the official’s transfer from Omiya ward to Sakura ward, the beneficiary moved there as well and the shakedown continued. Also, the disgraced functionary had the gall to claim that he funded 80万円 out of his own pocket. And, contrary to the reporting above, those two censored officials were merely docked 10% of their pay for two months, not “docked two months pay”.

https://www.asahi.com/articles/ASP512S87P4ZUTNB01H.html

https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/national/20210526-OYT1T50094/

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That single household was likely a "zainichi" family milking the system. It's probably why those responsible for making the threats were not reported (couldn't be reported, that is).

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Now what? It’s becoming even more expensive for the society now when all involved in the case brought to justice and have to be probably dressed, fed and accommodated in a prison and afterwards again are of course subject to be out of work and receiving welfare. Alone all the investigation , police, staff and also the lawyers and court procedures etc will now cost more than that bad household could ever have extorted out of that welfare office. That’s an own goal or two, nothing else.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't get it! All he had to do is report the threats to the police.

Together they could have made a sting operation and gotten the people not only making threats but for defrauding the government.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Did someone say.......scapegoat?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Are we sure he really was being threatened? No one has been named and we only have his word for it.

Still, 12 million isn’t that much… certainly not enough for a pension. I wonder if gambling debts were involved…

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Lol typical heartless japanese business. The guy is being threaten for his life and instead of siding with him they fired him In the middle of the pandemic. You know how hard it is to get a job now days??. Two people loses two months worth of pay too as punishment that's ridiculous. The only person that should be punished is the House hold making life threats

4 ( +9 / -5 )

So he gave this household more money, and then they gave him a piece.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Welfare systems can be tricky business in any country and Japan is no different. On one hand there are complaints of extreme insensitivity on the part of officials, while on the other are complaints of the public abusing the system.

Which is why means -testing is wasteful and a broad-based UBI, with some limitations , is the best option. "Wealthy" people are not gaming the system to get on welfare. And many of the truly needed are not served, ie the homeless.

The payments were spread out over a 10-month period from April of last year to January of this year. To put this in perspective, the average entry-level executive and management salary in Japan is estimated at about 12 million even, which this household surpassed in less than a year.

When the municipal government noticed the large payout, an investigation was launched and the employee responsible said that he had received “relentless threatening phone calls and e-mails” demanding that he bypass standard procedures to allot this household extra money.

To receive such a generous payout from the goverbment all that is necessary if to target a bureaucrat with a barrage of calls and emails?

This sounds like a case of bureaucratic corruption or money laundering. Another arguement for UBI instead of means tested welfare.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

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