Oddly Enough

Japanese sisters stash 28 million pounds in boxes

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two sisters hid $56 million (28 million pounds) cash in cardboard boxes in what may be Japan’s biggest-ever tax dodge, media said.

Hatsue Shimizu, 64, and Yoshiko Ishii, 55, were arrested on suspicion of hiding a stash of yen they inherited from their father, a real estate investor from the western Japanese city of Osaka, the English-language Daily Yomiuri said on Wednesday.

The sisters are thought to have begun withdrawing money from their father’s bank accounts a few years before his death in 2004, the Yomiuri said.

They then declared only a fraction of their inheritance and paid a comparatively small amount in tax, it added.

The Yomiuri said Shimizu told prosecutors she had forgotten about the cash, much of which was hidden in her garage, while Ishii admitted the allegations.

A spokesman for Osaka prosecutors said he could not comment on the case because it was under investigation.

Reporting by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Alex Richardson