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S. Korea arrests Indonesian for Japan tsunami fraud
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) July 23, 2012

South Korean police said Monday they have arrested an Indonesian woman for a scam related to Japan's earthquake and tsunami disaster in March last year.

Police have also asked Interpol to arrest three other suspects -- a 33-year-old Malaysian woman, a Nigerian and a man thought to be American.

The Malaysian last year sent an email to a South Korean man through a pen pal site, claiming she worked for a bank in her country.

She said a Japanese client with a $4.2-million deposit at the bank had been killed in the disaster, along with his whole family.

The woman suggested that the South Korean claim the money by posing as a relative of the deceased, and share it with her.

Police said the woman then obtained 110 million won ($96,000) from the Korean, claiming this was needed to forge bank and family documents.

But the Korean, impatient at a lack of progress, reported the affair to South Korean police in April this year.

He invited an Indonesian go-between in the scam, a 33-year-old woman, to Seoul with the promise of more money, and police arrested her on July 4.

"This is the first time that we arrested someone in a fraud taking advantage of Japan's tsunami disaster, but we are getting more reports about similar attempts these days," Kim Gyoung-Hee, a police investigator, told AFP.

He said the Korean would not be arrested since he had not committed a crime.

Some 19,000 people died after the disaster on March 11, 2011.


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