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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Hi, Im hoping you can give me some advice on what to expect

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I'm hoping you can give me some advice on what to expect from a situation that has arisen for me in the last week.

A friend of mine in Japan asked me a while ago to use my Photoshopping skills to scan in tourist Japanese Rail Passes and change the dates on them so he could use them to travel on the trains out there for free.

I did this for him a few times and then he started ordering them for other people to use. We did this maybe ten times, splitting the fee he charged - usually £100 - 50/50.

I last did this a couple of weeks ago and had decided that it was stupid to continue as I don't really need the money and was doing it for a favour for him as much as anything else, but about a week ago a Japanese woman was arrested for using one and has been in custody since.

The police are trying to find out who is behind the 'operation' as I believe there is a widespread use of such doctored passes out there and I last heard from him yesterday before he went into a police station to get hold of documents for an emergency passport as he had decided to leave the country as he was pretty sure that he was going to be named. He told me that if I didn't hear from him later it would be because he had been detained. I haven't heard from him and guess that this has happened.

My question is whether I am likely to be investigated over here or whether this is an internal affair that will not reach the UK.

I have disposed of all files and emails pertaining to our brief business but I'm concerned that the police might decide that we are a much bigger operation than we actually are and I might be investigated.

It seemed like a small thing to do at the time but now I realise that I might be had for fraud or something.

Any advice on what I should do would be much appreciated, and any pointers as to how likely this is to leave Japan. I know I've done wrong but I want to make sure that this doesn't affect me.

Thank you.

Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 6 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

First things first, begin seeking out a solicitor for yourself. While usually (and I stress the word "usually") such internal matters do not leave the host country, if Japan deems this an international crime ring, they can ask British and other authorities to intervene and further investigate these claims. Especially if the files were emailed out, Japan may request the assistance of Interpol to pursue this locally as well. It all depends on their losses--if ultimately the country experienced a few thousand in losses, it makes no economic sense for them to pursue this overseas. If, however, the losses are fairly large (in the millions), the chances of being pursued justifiably increase.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 9:42 AM EST
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