we touched this same spot with our hands, our feet, our gaze and our dreams

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Increasing number of gangsters seeking welfare benefits

NAGOYA — The number of gangsters who applied for welfare benefits despite a ban on such payments jumped in fiscal 2009 to 41 in Aichi Prefecture, amid the economic stalemate making them short of funds, police data showed Thursday.
Following the ban imposed in 2006, the figure came to six in fiscal 2006, 14 in fiscal 2007 and 19 in fiscal 2008, but jumped in the fiscal year ended in March with most applicants hiding their backgrounds but some of them revealing that they want to leave gangs to get on welfare but cannot, they said.
Of the 41 applicants in the latest reporting year, nine have actually broken from gang groups with help from police and received benefits, according to the police.
Offering welfare to gang members has been banned since April 2006 under a welfare ministry notice, enabling local governments to refuse payments if they find applicants to be members through reference to police.

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