Homes of Aum kin raided

Matsumoto’s wife, daughter scrutinized over tax evasion

Police on Thursday searched the Ryugasaki, Ibaraki Prefecture, home of Aum Supreme Truth cult founder Chizuo Matsumoto‘s wife in connection with the opening of a bank account.

Two Aum followers are suspected of having used the account for tax evasion and supporting their cult leader’s family members.

According to the Metropolitan Police Department’s Public Security Bureau, hundreds of thousands of yen have been remitted to the bank account every month since April 2002, totaling more than 10 million yen. Most of the money has been withdrawn.

The officers believe Matsumoto’s wife used the money to cover day-to-day living expenses.

With the cult still failing to compensate victims of crimes committed by Aum members, including its deadly sarin attack on Tokyo’s subway system, followers might have worked to support the woman by illegal means.

Other locations searched included an apartment in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture, belonging to Matsumoto’s 23-year-old daughter.

According to investigating officers, a female cult member colluded with a male follower–both 35–who runs a computer software development business to deceive a bank in April 2002.

The female follower, who did not work for the company, opened an account at a bank in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo, claiming it would be used to deposit her salary. As such, the female follower was suspected of defrauding the bank in order to receive a passbook.

Every month, the male follower deposited hundreds of thousands of yen into the account as the female follower’s salary, the officers said.

The officers believe the bogus payments to the woman helped the man evade taxes by reducing his actual income. They also determined she had committed fraud by obtaining the passbook illicitly, thereby violating a clause in the bank’s rules that prohibits the use of passbooks for illegal purposes.

The woman withdrew most of the more than 10 million yen in deposits. There also were times when Matsumoto’s daughter was apparently present for withdrawals, the officers said.

As Matsumoto’s wife and daughter do not maintain an income, the bank account might have been opened with the intent of providing them with financial support, the officers said.

The list of followers submitted by the cult under the Subversive Organizations Control Law did not include the names of Matsumoto’s wife and daughter.

However, the daughter, whose holy name is Archary, is said to be popular among purist followers who worship Matsumoto as a god.

Officials at the Public Security Bureau and Public Security Intelligence Agency believe Matsumoto’s daughter will become the cult’s leader.

The male suspect with Matsumoto’s daughter and two sons, 12 and 13, in a Koshigaya apartment, which also houses his office. The female follower lived nearby in Hachioji, Tokyo, and took care of the daughter.

At about 8:20 a.m. on Thursday, six police officers carrying cardboard boxes arrived at Matsumoto’s wife’s house in Ryugasaki.

As they readied to enter, a young woman refused to let them in, asking the officers to present their warrant and to ask gathering reporters to leave.

Some officers shouted at the woman, demanding she open the door, while others took crowbars from their cars to break down the entrance. They entered the house about 10 minutes later.

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The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan
July 21, 2006

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday July 21, 2006.
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