Japanese cops bust two execs in Vietnamese labor scheme

By VnExpress   February 11, 2017 | 11:27 pm PT
Police suspect the company of having hired 4,000 undocumented workers in 2016 alone.

Police in central Japan arrested two executives at a demolition company and accused them of illegally hiring thousands of Vietnamese workers.

Investigators in Gunma Prefecture referred Tadashi Kobayashi, the company's 67-year-old managing director, and an unnamed president, 69, to prosecutors on Friday for employing six illegal Vietnamese workers at projects in Tokyo and Gunma between February 2016 and January this year.

The six workers, in their 20s through 30s, were found to have overstayed their visas, Mainichi newspaper reported.

Investigators found the company began hiring Vietnamese in 2014 under false Japanese names to avoid detection.

Police suspect the company employed around 4,000 illegal Vietnamese workers on various projects in 2016 alone - a scheme which would have saved them $440,000 in labor fees.

“Vietnamese work hard for low wages, so they were indispensable,” police quoted the company president as saying.

Visa overstays have narrowed Vietnam's chances of signing new labor contracts with host countries.

Many of Vietnam's undocumented overseas workers, despite myriad difficulties in the event of accidents or legal disputes, still prefer the risks to the rural poverty they face at home.

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