Betting addict gambles away £290,000 in just a month after it was paid into his bank account by mistake

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Japan currency notes on hand

A JAPANESE man who has mistakenly paid £287,000 from a Covid relief fund gambled it all away.

The unidentified man, 24, was sent 46.3 million yen to his bank account by error after the money was supposed to be split between 463 low-income families.

The man, who has mistakenly paid £287,000 from a Covid relief fund, gambled it all away.

The Mayor of Abu in Japan’s Yamaguchi Prefecture apologised for the mistake

Instead of alerting the authorities, the man used his smartphone to gamble the fortune away through online casino sites.

When officials from the southern town of Abu in Japan‘s Yamaguchi Prefecture contacted him, the man initially told them he would co-operate with them, but he later disappeared.

Abu is suing the man, and is considering criminal action.

The low income families were expected to receive 100,000 yen (£620) each as part of a government scheme to ease financial strain brought by Covid.

All the money was deposited into the man’s account by mistake on April, 8, 2022 – prompting an investigation.

Officials found that the man had been withdrawing 600,000 yen (£3,650) every day for about two weeks, according to media reports.

When the authorities tracked him down, he told them he was no longer in possession of the money.

“I’ve already moved the money. It can’t be returned,” the man is quoted as saying by the Asahi Shimbun.

“It cannot be undone any more. I will not run. I will pay for my crime.”

The man’s lawyer initially told police his client would cooperate with the authorities as well as be interviewed by the Yamaguchi Prefecture, but his client then vanished.

“I don’t currently have the money and I don’t have anything with property value at hand. It’s actually difficult to return it,” the lawyer quoted his client as saying.

A lawsuit for 51 million yen (£308,000), including legal fees, was filed on May 12.

Mayor Norihiko Hanada told his constituents he was “deeply sorry” for the error.

His office said it “will do our utmost to take back the large amount of public money”, Hanada added.

100,000 yen payments have now been issued to the low-income families.