Yakuza illegally referred workers for decontamination work at Fukushima

Hidenobu Maruta
Hidenobu Maruta of the Yamaguchi-gumi (TBS News)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested three persons, including an organized crime member, for illegally referring laborers to engage in decontamination work following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster of 2011, reports TBS News (Sept. 27).

On Wednesday, police arrested Hidenobu Maruta, a 48-year-old boss of a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi, Shigeki Yamamura, a 59-year-old officer of a construction company in Fukushima Prefecture, and Akio Kitano, a 51-year-old resident of Saitama Prefecture, on suspicion of violating the Labor Standards Act.

Between February of 2015 and April of last year, the suspects allegedly collected at least 160,000 yen in fees for introducing two workers to businesses engaged in decontamination work in the town of Tomioka without authorization from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

The fee collected from the businesses by the suspects was 3,000 yen per day for each referred employee. Fees between 2,000 and 3,000 yen were also collected from each employee per day worked.

Maruta denies the allegations, telling the Katsushika Police Station that he “does not remember” the matter.

Police believe that the ring collected at least 10 million yen through similar dispatches to Fukushima in 2015 and 2016. Police are now investigating if the funds wound up being funneled to the gang.

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