3 nabbed over fake contract for nuclear repair work in Fukui

Police have arrested three people for allegedly dispatching a worker to the Oi Nuclear Power Plant in Fukui Prefecture under a falsified contract, sparking a police probe into the yakuza’s possible involvement in nuclear-related jobs, investigative sources say.

The Fukuoka and Fukui prefectural police forces on Jan. 12 announced the arrests of Hideo Ichise, 58, of Tsuruga, Fukui Prefecture, Yoshimi Tomita, 59, of Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, and Kanae Ikegami, 36, of Kitakyushu’s Wakamatsu Ward, on suspicion of violating the Employment Security Law.

Police suspect Soshin Kogyo dispatched workers to nuclear power facilities, thereby providing the Kudo-kai [a Kitakyushu-based crime syndicate] with a source of funds, according to investigative sources. The case has sparked a rare police investigation into the alleged involvement of yakuza in nuclear-related employment in Japan.

According to police investigators, the three were implicated in an unlawful contract scheme in which a male employee of Soshin Kogyo was dispatched to Kansai Electric Power Co.’s Oi plant and forced to engage in repair work under the supervision of Taihei Dengyo from early March to late September in 2010. The three have admitted to the allegations, the sources say.

Fukuoka police and others with knowledge of the case say the fake contract was set up through deals between Soshin Kogyo and Takada Kiko, and between Takada Kiko and Taihei Dengyo. The Fukuoka and Fukui police forces believe the Soshin Kogyo employee served as a temporary worker in violation of the law, and suspect he may be just one of several temporary staffers sent to nuclear power facilities under bogus contract deals, investigative sources say.

Various temporary agencies have been suspected of siphoning off workers’ wages and crime syndicates are suspected of playing a part in dispatching such temporary workers.