Authorities on the southern tip of Indonesia’s Sumatra island arrested a Japanese fugitive accused of fraud in Japan in connection with the receipt of a massive amount of Covid-19 subsidies for small businesses in distress, police said Wednesday. Mitsuhiro Taniguchi, 47, was arrested late on Tuesday night at a house owned by a fish trader in the village of Kalirejo in Central Lampung district, by immigration officers and backed by local police, said National Police spokesperson Dedi Prasetyo. “He told the house owner that he wants to invest in fisheries in the area which is well received by him,” Prasetyo said, adding that he’d been staying at the house for about two weeks before authorities detected his whereabouts. Taniguchi was wanted by Japanese police over pandemic subsidy fraud and left Japan for Indonesia in October 2020, Prasetyo said. Taniguchi and a group of acquaintances allegedly submitted some 1,700 false applications for Covid-19 relief funds. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department believes they received subsidies in more than 960 of those applications for an estimated 960 million yen (US$7.3 million). Not squidding: Japanese town uses Covid-19 funds on giant statue He said there was no red notice related to Taniguchi’s case, but Indonesian police have taken proactive steps by coordinating with immigration to detect his presence since entering Indonesian territory. “His presence in Indonesia became illegal after the Japanese authorities revoked his passport,” Prasetyo said, adding that Taniguchi has been handed over to the Directorate of Immigration’s Supervision and Enforcement division and authorities are coordinating with Japanese diplomats for a Deportation process. Taniguchi was paraded in handcuffs and a face mask by police at a news conference Wednesday in the capital, Jakarta. Wearing short pants and an immigration detainee’s orange vest, he made no comment. Nyoman Gede Surya Mataram, the director of Control and Enforcement at the Directorate General of Immigration, said at the news conference that Taniguchi entered Indonesia on October 16, 2020. He managed to get a working permit six months later, which is valid until June 2023. Mataram said days before the arrest, diplomats at the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta came to his office to tell them that they had revoked Taniguchi’s passport and provided a tip that Taniguchi, who has been wanted by Japanese police since early May, was last seen in Lampung area. A diplomat at the embassy, Miyagawa Takayuki, said authorities of the two countries are still coordinating his Deportation. Tokyo police arrested Taniguchi’s ex-wife and their two sons May 30 on suspicion of fraud and Tokyo’s MPD placed him on an international wanted list, according to Japanese newspaper The Mainichi Shimbun. It said the three are suspected of defrauding the government of 3 million yen (US$22,500) in Covid-19 subsidies from June to August 2020. The scheme was uncovered in August 2020 when the office offering the subsidies consulted Tokyo police. Taniguchi is believed to have fled Japan two months later, Japanese newspaper The Asahi newspaper reported.