The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) said on Nov. 21 that it arrested Mika Okano (38 years old), who runs a business in Kurihara, Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, for allegedly making foreigners who came to Japan under the Technical Intern Training Program (TITP) and fled amid the training work illegally and violating the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act. The arrest was made on Nov. 16. The police believe that she had dispatched a total of 289 foreigners to factories within the prefecture and earned about 66 million yen over three and half years prior to her arrest. Most of the dispatched workers are said to be TITP trainees who had fled and those who were working illegally.
According to an MPD senior officer, Okano is suspected of having sent two Chinese men who were in their 30s and fled from their TITP work places and men from Sri Lanka to four companies, such as a food processor, within the prefecture from August 2014 to October this year. She admitted to the allegations and said that “I am aware that they were not given the status of residence.”
Rumor spread via Internet sites that Okano had been introducing jobs to illegal aliens. This is believed to have attracted TITP trainees who went missing. Okano is alleged to have deducted about 30% of wages paid by employers and passed the remaining to foreigners. (Abridged)