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Social insurance scandal reaches down to Okinawa

Date Posted: 2007-11-01

Investigators have for months been researching the Ministry of Social Insurance records, looking for more than ¥50 million that’s vanished without a trace.

To date, ministry investigators have uncovered 54 cases where its employees pocketed the money.

Now, the Okinawa Social Insurance Office has discovered that the tampering has filtered down to this prefecture. A case dating back to 1991~1994 in Ishigaki City’s Social Insurance Office has been uncovered, where a worker took ¥500,000 of customers’ money. The 40-year-old worker was in charge of bookkeeping, and his embezzlement went unnoticed.

It came to light when a company customer received a letter requiring he pay money he knew he’d already paid. The company president checked and the illicit action was uncovered. The Social Insurance Office covered up the activity, the worker replaced the money, and then retired.

The Ministry of Social Insurance is now on the case, and says it will demand the man return all retirement money collected.

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