TOKYO, May 26 — Police arrested four AUM Shinrikyo followers and a computer software executive on Thursday on suspicion of illegally dispatching group members to three companies for employment over a period of two years through January.
The AUM followers — three men and a woman — and a former president of a now-defunct computer software development firm were held on suspicion of violating the employment security law, the police said.
The law prohibits persons from dispatching workers under their management to a different organization for employment or for such organizations to employ them, unless they receive permission from the health, labor and welfare minister.
The Metropolitan Police Department determined that the dispatched workers were under the control of the suspects.
The police on Thursday raided 22 locations including AUM-related facilities.
The four AUM members arrested were identified as Noboru Akiyama, 32, Kazuyoshi Narita, 42, Hidetaka Kobayashi, 38, and Chiaki Horibe, 29. The fifth suspect, identified as Shingo Kadowaki, 59, is not an AUM follower.
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According to the police, the suspects allegedly dispatched four AUM members with computer skills to three companies, including a software development firm in Tokyo, between January 2003 and January this year without obtaining permission for supplying labor.
Worried that potential employers may be hesitant about hiring AUM followers, they instructed the four members to identify themselves as employees of Kadowaki’s company, the police said.
The four dispatched members are believed to have received a total of more than 20 million yen in income during the period, they said.
The police are looking into the possibility that part of the income might have been used for AUM’s operational funds and are also investigating whether more members may have been similarly dispatched for employment from around 2001, receiving hundreds of millions of yen in income, according to investigation sources.
AUM Shinrikyo, whose senior members were involved in a series of crimes including the fatal 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, renamed itself Aleph in January 2000.