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Japan extradites two in alleged 9/11 fraud
Updated: 2005-10-26 09:21

Two Japanese citizens were extradited to the United States on Tuesday to face charges they swindled thousands of dollars from U.S. aid organizations by falsely claiming they were victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, officials said.

Justice Minister Chieko Nono earlier this month approved the handover of the two, who had been detained by Japanese prosecutors at Washington's request, a ministry official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

It was not immediately clear what U.S. city they were extradited to on Tuesday. The man and woman, whose names were not released, are to face trial in the United States, where they have been charged with fraud.

They allegedly received compensation from U.S. aid organizations after falsely claiming they were victims of the 2001 attacks in New York.

The woman received $12,750 from the U.S. Red Cross and another aid organization, while the man received about $2,500 from the organization.

The two are also suspected of together applying for a $1 million loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration, falsely claiming that their rented office near the World Trade Center towers was damaged in the attacks. Their application was denied.

Both have denied the accusations. One of the two was reportedly a volunteer interpreter in New York following the attacks.

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