TOKYO, June 16–(Kyodo) _ Tokyo police arrested Shigeru Sugiura, a leader of Aleph, formerly the AUM Shinrikyo cult, and two other members on Thursday for allegedly sending group members to work at companies as temporary staff without a government license.
Sugiura, 46, is one of the cult’s five top members who hold a rank called “seigoshi,” according to the police. The other two suspects were Tsuyoshi Sakaguchi, 49, former president of a computer software development company, and Tatsuya Ueda, 40.
The employment security law requires businesses that provide temporary workers to other organizations to obtain a license from the health, labor and welfare minister.
Last month, the police raided 22 places and arrested some Aleph members in violation of the employment law.
Sugiura and others are suspected of sending dozens of Aleph members to private firms in Tokyo without a license from around 2001 through January this year.
The companies are believed to have made salary payments totaling several hundred million yen.
The police were looking into the possibility that part of the income might have been used for Aleph’s operational funds.
AUM Shinrikyo, which carried out the fatal 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, and other crimes, renamed itself Aleph in January 2000.