13 youngsters nabbed for fraud scheme
Okinawa Police 2nd Investigation Division and Uruma Police arrested Friday 23-year-old Shigeaki Irei and a 18-year-old boy on suspicion of using faked documents, utilizing counterfeit private documents, to commit a fraud. They also charged 11 accomplices, including four high school students.
According to Okinawa Police, the youths used faked national health insurance cards to obtain credit cards, with which they
bought merchandize, such as jewelry and refrigerators, to exchange them for cash. The scheme brought in a total of ¥2.32 million.
Investigators say they took advantage of a consumer loan system that enables people to buy merchandise by showing a health insurance card. They also used the faked national insurance cards to open new bank accounts at 20 financial institutions to get 26 bankbooks and 12 cash cards to use in the scheme.
Sources say Okinawa Police seized 15 national health insurance cards and several bank books from Irei. Police suspect that the bank accounts had been used for fraud, but investigators are still looking into details.
According to Okinawa Police, Irei is accused of being the principal offender, who directed the others to buy jewelry and open bank accounts.
Police judged that there was “no need to arrest” for the eleven accomplices who were between ages 17 and 21 at the time of the crime. They were all Irei’s local friends and his juniors.