Japanese man fined NT$2M for returning rental car one year later

The image is for illustration purpose only (Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Police in Kyoto Prefecture arrested a 44-year-old man on Saturday for embezzlement of a car he had rented one year ago.

According to Sora News, local police said Masafumi Hagiwara rented a car from a rental company in Fushimi Ward, Kyoto, on June 25, 2019.

When the car was due to be returned seven days later, the man called the rental company and said: “I’m in Tokyo so I’d like to request an extension.”

Still, the man did not return the car and continued to drive it as if he owned it until Aug. 4, 2020.

If we count from last year’s return date, the overdue fine is estimated to be as high as 7.66 million yen (NT$2.11 million), which is much higher than the price of a new car.

In response, many commented, “What was he thinking?  He signed a contract so there was no way he wouldn’t get caught” while another said: “Surprisingly, no one has been tracking him down for over a year.”

One wrote: “This fine is enough to buy two new cars or five lightweight vehicles.”

“A friend of mine works at a rental car company and they say this happens sometimes – some people even hire cars to commit crimes,” another commentator said.