Japanese Dating Sites in Panama Papers ID Fraud Story

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The Asahi Shimbun, one of Japan’s leading national newspapers, has reported on a story of online dating companies using fake ID documents and offshore headquarters to avoid liability for dishonest business practices.

The revelations reportedly come from a new analysis of thousands of documents contained in the Panama Papers.

The story asserts that more than 10 businesses based in Anguilla were being used to run online dating services in Japan. The offshore base enabled the companies to avoid paying refunds to consumers.

The dating sites were making use of fake profiles and virtual currency to scam (mostly male) victims into paying to communicate, say journalists Sho Okano and Ei Takada.

Further, the article describes how passports from Japanese men and women were stolen and used as fake IDs for company executives. The citizens “had no idea they were company heads or exactly how their passport information was leaked.”

The Anguilla businesses were set up by an individual using the name ‘Kariya’, according to the analysis of Panama Papers emails. The journalists were able to contact Kariya and question them about the revelations.

He apparently purchased the passport details for $900, and set up business which he sold to online dating operators for $1,800.

Read more here.