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‘Miss Sake’ finalist accused in swindle of elderly woman

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a finalist for a contest promoting sake in Ishikawa Prefecture over the alleged swindle of an elderly woman in Tokyo, reports Fuji News Network (Oct. 8).

In July, Airi Shimanaka posed as an employee from a city office in collecting three bank cards from the woman, aged in her 80s, at her residence.

“With the change to the Reiwa Era, your bank cards will not be usable,” the woman was falsely told over the telephone before the arrival of the Shimanaka.

Airi Shimanaka (Twitter)

Shimanaka then used the cards to withdraw 2 million yen in cash from ATM machines, police said.

During questioning, Shimanaka said that she carried out the crime after responding to a posting on a social-networking service about “work that pays more than 100,000 yen with zero risk.”

In 2017, Shimanaka was among the finalists in the “Ishikawa Miss Sake” contest. The winner of the event, held each October, becomes the ambassador for the prefecture’s dozens of sake brands the following year.