KASHIHARA, Nara Prefecture–Vacant apartments are being used to receive deliveries of goods purchased fraudulently online by suspected international crime rings, police said.

Since the properties are listed as unoccupied, the identities of those who receive the packages can remain hidden.

In late March, a postal worker in Osaka Prefecture felt something was amiss after bringing a package to an apartment room that was supposed to be vacant.

A person claiming to be the occupant opened the door and received the package.

Around the same time, another postal worker assigned to a housing complex in Hyogo Prefecture had the same experience.

In fact, packages were sent to both places on five occasions each over a short period of time, according to Japan Post Co.

Despite the workers’ suspicions, it is customary to give the packages to the people who answer the door, even if a delivery ledger says the home is empty.


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