Police said Tuesday that a couple in Osaka has been arrested for fraudulently claiming 6 years’ worth of child allowance payments for their child who died shortly after birth.
The crime was reportedly discovered when a local elementary school, which had records of the girl’s birth, invited her to attend a pre-enrollment physical check and orientation meeting. According to TBS, the girl’s mother told the school that her daughter had died some time before, but the school reported the matter to police.
Police said the couple—a 53-year-old man and his 35-year-old wife—had a daughter in May of 2006. The child was in good health when she left the hospital six days afetr her birth. The parents filed her birth certificate two days later and applied for a child care allowance.
After the couple were arrested earlier this month on a charge of fraudulently receiving child welfare payments, they told police their daughter died within a week, TBS reported. Police quoted the couple as saying that they decided to continue to claim welfare payments. Over the six years, they received 934,000 yen in child care allowance payments, police said.
The couple also told investigators they threw the child’s body into the sea without registering her death and continued to lead authorities to believe she was alive. Media reported that social workers reportedly visited the family eight times, and each time, the girl’s father claimed she was visiting her grandparents with her mother and was in good health.
Police say they are looking into the circumstances surrounding the girl’s death.