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Osaka policewoman nabbed for impersonating men in romance scams

TOKYO (TR) – As a part of a joint investigation, Saga and Saitama police forces have arrested a 25-year-old policewoman in Osaka Prefecture on suspicion of carrying out a romance scam that swindled a pair of women out of more than 10 million yen, reports Nippon News Network.

Yurina Ohtani, a member of the narcotics division of the Nishinari Police Station, has admitted to being involved in scamming two women.

Over the summer, the two women are reported to have lost around 13.34 million yen to the scams, with less than 10 percent of that going to Ohtani, suggesting the involvement of a fraud ring, police said.

In one case, the policewoman allegedly pretended to be a Canadian doctor working in Yemen who suddenly needed to return home to look after his sick mother but couldn’t access his bank accounts.

After connecting with a woman in her 50s living in Saga Prefecture on a social network site in July an August, Ohtani convinced the victim to send 2 million yen for airfare, promising to pay the money back as soon as possible.

Of that amount, Ohtani received 200,000 yen in her bank account, police said.

Talent contest

In another case, the duplicitous policewoman allegedly posed online as a Japanese male model who had just won a talent contest in Thailand and received 500 million yen in prize money. On the pretext of hiding the win from their modeling agency in Japan, the fake model in August and September asked a woman in her 60s in Saitama Prefecture to receive the prize money at her residence.

The Saitama woman then transferred 11.4 million yen to the fraud ring to ostensibly pay for courier fees. Ohtani later received 700,000 yen in her bank account, police said.

Ohtani is reported to have been a promising police officer who had been a talented judoka while at high school.

On Wednesday, police sent Ohtani to public prosecutors on suspicion of fraud.