COVID Relief Fraud who Swindled One Billion Yen “To Help People” is Appalling | FRIDAY DIGITAL

COVID Relief Fraud who Swindled One Billion Yen “To Help People” is Appalling

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Taniguchi was arrested after being transferred from Indonesia.He has a tanned face, thick arms extending from a black short-sleeved shirt, and sharp eyes.

The man transported from Indonesia did not lose his fearless expression as he entered the police vehicle.


On June 22, the Investigation Division 2 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department arrested Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, a suspect of unknown occupation, on suspicion of fraud. The suspect is suspected of cheating a woman in her 70s, who was not eligible to receive the subsidy, out of 1 million yen in benefits from the government for sustaining measures against the new type of coronavirus by submitting a fraudulent application on her behalf. The suspect, Taniguchi, together with his ex-wife, Rie (45), and his eldest son, Daikyo (22), are believed to have fraudulently received benefits amounting to 1 billion yen between May and September 2020.

“The number of false applications totaled to approximately 1,780. The suspects held seminars in Roppongi, Tokyo, and other locations, explaining to participants that anyone can receive benefits. They called themselves ‘financial planners’ and ‘investment professionals’.

Taniguchi fled to Indonesia in October 2020 and disappeared. However, in June of this year and upon request from Japan, Indonesian authorities took Taniguchi into custody on suspicion of illegal stay. He was arrested on board a flight to Japan,” said a reporter from the society section of a national newspaper.

Driving a bright red Ferrari

Taniguchi is said to have been quite wealthy at one time.Taniguchi was born in Matsusaka City, Mie Prefecture. He began to develop a wide range of businesses immediately after graduating from a high school in the city.

“He ran a bar in his hometown and also got into the solar power generation and real estate businesses. All of these businesses were doing well, and he was doing quite well. He drove a bright red Ferrari, wore a luxury watch, and drank a lot. I heard that he boasted to those around him that he had won a fortune.”


Taniguchi used his growing fortune to move into Tokyo. He is said to have opened a Korean club in Akasaka and invested in virtual currency.

“Taniguchi turned his attention overseas. His focus was on Indonesia. He expected to earn a considerable income from catfish and shrimp farming,” said another reporter from a national newspaper.”

The Indonesian business had other objectives besides making money. They had been trapped in a difficult situation by engaging in subsidy fraud.

“When he first started the subsidy scam, Taniguchi told an acquaintance, “I get the government’s money to help people.” However, after the summer of 2020, when a number of cases of fraudulent receipt of benefits were uncovered, there was a succession of inquiries from the nominees saying, ‘We want to return the benefit payments, so we want our fees back. Taniguchi, who did not have that much money, was in a tight spot. Even so, he remained bullish. It seems that he was thinking of applying the earnings from his investment in Indonesia to the repayment.”

Taniguchi, who has been involved in a massive fraud “to help people,” has expanded his business without any self-discipline and ended up strangling his own neck.

His tanned skin suggests his life in Southeast Asia.
  • Photo by Shinji Hasuo

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