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Town in Yamaguchi sends everyone’s COVID-19 relief money to one person

41 Comments
By SoraNews24

Like in many countries, every once in a while the government sees fit to send out a bit of cash to Japanese households during the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to keep the economy moving. Earlier this month this was the case in the town of Abu in Yamaguchi Prefecture.

In this small town of about 3,300 people, 463 households applied for a payment of 100,000 yen. However, 462 of those households never received their money, because it all went to a single resident’s bank account.

According to town officials, a staff member made a technical error in the system when processing applications which caused all 46.3 million yen to go to the same bank account. Officials contacted the home of the recipient but by the time they got in touch, the person said that all the funds had been “transferred to an account at another financial institution.”

It’s unclear exactly what that meant. The person explained that the money was not used to repay debt, but gave few other clues as to where it went. They simply told officials: “It cannot be undone any more. I will not run. I will pay for my crime…”

However cryptically noble that may be, it still left the town with little to work with. On April 22, Abu mayor Norihiko Hanada issued a public apology and the town sent another wave of 100,000 payments to each of the 463 households, including the one that had previously received the 46.3 million yen.

▼ News report of the apology

It’s was such a spectacular failure that most comments by readers expressed amusement rather than anger. The most common question among them was how this person could so quickly make so much money disappear.

“That’s horrible, lol.”

“What did he do with it?”

“He’s got it in cash in his drawers, I’m sure. Someone get a warrant!”

“They can’t even return a bit of it? I want to know what happened to the money.”

“I think they should be trying harder to get the money.”

“I wonder if he hid it somewhere so he can use it after serving a prison sentence.”

“The official who screwed up sending the money is at fault too.”

“Maybe he’s trying to make a profit off the money before he’s forced to return it. It’s very possible with that much.”

“Of all the people to mistakenly send a bunch of money to, they had to find the one guy who would immediately launder it.”

Indeed, in Japan it would seem that in such a situation you’d be more likely to have the person return the money rather than mysteriously make it vanish. There’s certainly no shortage of people who simply think returning the money is the right thing to do, and the remainder would likely realize that there was no chance of getting away with pocketing millions of yen sent directly from the government.

In the meantime the government is currently consulting with police and lawyers to see what options they have in this odd situation. Hopefully an ensuing investigation will reveal what this person is thinking and how they plan to deal with the impending criminal charges.

Source: TYS NewsItai News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese woman finds wallet with 1 million yen, does the right thing, then something even better

-- Nagoya man goes to bars, shows everyone 20 million yen; you’ll totally believe what happens next

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

© SoraNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

41 Comments
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haha.....I wonder what he did with it.

then they sent him another 100k!! haha! brilliant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’m amazed how many people think it’s ok to just keep the money. I’d return the money immediately, not mine so i wouldn’t want it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm surprised the city knows the bank account of every household in town.

The clerk who made the 'mistake' should be watched, this could be a team effort.

Bank transfers can be traced easily. Cash withdrawals/deposits are probably on CCTV.

City officials sound like they need to be replaced.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

He should be allowed to keep them

Why? What did he do to earn or deserve this money? Which of his actions say 'he should not have this money taken back from him'? If it were a salary, he would have earned it, so there would be no justification. Of if he had sold something. So, what did this guy do that you feel he should be able to keep this money?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He should be allowed to keep them he did nothing wrong.The person who should be made to pay is the one responsible for the mistake

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

They'd be looking for the invisible man!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There's just something about these Sora articles and the way they're written. I always feel like the writer is winking at me. I guess they feel it works because it certainly never gets better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The police better investigate any possible connections between the guy who "accidentally " transferred money to another guy who made it "disappear" so quickly. Just too many coincidences in my opinion. They both might have come up with this scheme together and be waiting til the heat is off to do something with the money. They better hold both of their passports for a while, the whole thing is very suspicious!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The person explained that the money was not used to repay debt, but gave few other clues as to where it went.

clues? what is this, an escape room?

On April 22, Abu mayor Norihiko Hanada issued a public apology and the town sent another wave of 100,000 payments to each of the 463 households, including the one that had previously received the 46.3 million yen.

So wait...............this town sent all the 46.3 M yen (not a small amount of tax payers money by any means) to the one guy, he makes it all disappear. and no criminal charge? (yet?)

BUT then they just said "screw it." Let's not try and get the original funds back.

Let's just give the town an EXTRA set of funds, totaling 46.3 M yen, in addition to paying the guy who got away with the original set of money?

So this town just blew over 90 Million yen in a short period of time, over one clerical error?

The guy has no jail time, kept all the money AND had an extra payment given to him for the hell of it........

Talk about someone's lucky day.

I guess you can really spend a lot on booze and hookers, real quick like.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Jackpot ching ching

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hope that idiot who made the transfer got fired. That's one heck of a mistake to make.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Judging from the comments, I wouldn't want to drop my wallet around some JT readers. Keeping that money, much less making immediate efforts to hide it, is simply a crime. The law is not vague about this. I am mystified why he was smart enough to transfer it quickly but not smart enough to then do the obvious and run. He's not going to enjoy his new riches while in a prison cell.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Deposit 100,001 JPYen in a bank account, and the bank interrogates you as to where the money came from.

What a joke. I regularly deposit 3 times that much each month and never in over 30 years even one question.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

When will he use it to buy something nice, you know they will be watching every move he makes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That’s a crime, plain and simple.

for 43MJPY I wouldn’t want to be on a wanted list. For $43M, maybe.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kurisupisu

You’d be extradited back before your flip flops hit the beach.

With an electronic trail, I would do the right thing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Waiting for someone to type about Japanese honesty and wallets handed in etc.... There is always one bad apple..

However, if that happened to me this bad apple would be making some exceedingly good apple pies with the ¥46 million.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Great , but I wish it was me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Your friendly Yakuza as they are not even going after the guy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

According to town officials, a staff member made a technical error in the system when processing applications which caused all 46.3 million yen to go to the same bank account.

they should explain how the process works in executing the payment to the ppl... i would like to know how inefficient and manual it is that can cause all the money go to one account...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No idea what the legal situation with respect to this is in Japan, and if they need to consult, sounds like the local authority doesn’t either. In the UK it would be a criminal offence.

Morally the guy is corrupt, he is stealing from his neighbours, which I am sure will go down well and as it patently wasn’t his money and he knew it he hasn’t got a leg to stand on, his subsequent act of hiding it is proof of criminal intent.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Zichi - exactly.

People saying they would take it and run, is it really worth living the rest of your life on the lam for that sum? It basically would make you unemployable, in constant concern of being caught and ultimately, when you are caught, facing a criminal penalty likely including an obligation to return the funds.

Peace of mind is underrated.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It is fraud and theft. Return the money or face a long term in prison.

Now begs the question, how long would someone be prepared to do a stint in prison for ¥46,300,000?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe negotiate to payback in flat 35? LOL

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Run Forest run :D !!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Can you imagine the look on his face when he saw his account balance .

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And the government even sent him another payment.

How ridiculous is that ?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

It was not his mistake. In regards to law, I don't know what the position would be in regards to retrieving the money I'm sure Japans prosecutors will find something and force a confession of wrongdoing. (Mens Rea).

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Deposit 100,001 JPYen in a bank account, and the bank interrogates you as to where the money came from.

Deposit 46,300,000 JPYen in a bank account, and the bank says and does nothing!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

In this small town of about 3,300 people, 463 households applied for a payment of 100,000 yen. However, 462 of those households never received their money, because it all went to a single resident’s bank account.

Honest mistake. Usually that money is sent to the head of Dentsu, Keidanren or the local real estate/construction development conglomerate.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

“Of all the people to mistakenly send a bunch of money to, they had to find the one guy who would immediately launder it.”

Contrary to popular belief here in Japan, not all people that stumble across money are going to return it. After hearing stories of people losing their wallets and soon finding them as someone gave them to a store clerk or police station, my wallet was picked up at the post office by someone never to be seen again.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I'd do the same. Infact we all do except few very very honest people who are rare on this Earth.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

But is it really a crime ?

Probably in a Cayman islands account.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Maybe that guy who makes the videos about how “Japan is the safest and most honest place in the world,” and then drops his wallet in rich neighborhoods to see if people will get it back to him can explain this one.

in any case, I don’t blame the guy who received it at all. Wasn’t his mistake.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Chance of a lifetime!!! About same as being hit by lightening! Why let it go to waste LOL

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Haha this is so funny. 43 million?! You wouldn’t see me again.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I’d be out of Japan so fast with the cash-my feet wouldn’t touch the ground!

3 ( +12 / -9 )

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