The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department revealed on Tuesday that it had issued an arrest warrant for the father of Rola, a popular Japanese talento, or TV personality, based on evidence that he fraudulently received health insurance funds. With a mixed ethnicity of Japanese, Bengali, and Russian, 23 year old Rola is well-known in Japan for her modeling and TV appearances.
The warrant from the Tokyo police says that 53 year old Jurip Al-Asa, originally from Bangladesh, conspired with another man from his home country to defraud Japan’s national health insurance system of 875,000 yen (approx. 9,000 US dollars). According the Sankei Shimbun newspaper, police sources revealed that in December of 2009, Jurip’s accomplice filed a forged medical insurance claim that said he had undergone an operation overseas, and was requesting a 70% reimbursement. This man was finally arrested in 2012, but Rola’s father fled Japan soon after, with police believing that he lead a gang of Bangladeshis who pulled off the scam a number of times over the years, collecting a total of over 10 million yen (over 103,000 dollars) in insurance payments. The Metropolitan Police are now asking for Interpol’s assistance, in addition to placing Jurip on an international wanted list.
Japan’s entertainment industry was abuzz with Rola gossip after the announcement, with talent agencies and television networks debating about whether they should pull commercials off the air that feature the young woman, as well as cancel her upcoming TV appearances. Far from being an actress, Rola’s “occupation” can be best described as a talento, a Japanese adoption of the English word “talent,” which mostly equals the idea “famous for being famous.” These personalities do little more than appear in commercials and advertising, as well as make regular rounds on Japan’s variety/talk shows, and sometimes record singles to be used as theme songs on TV dramas. After the news of the arrest warrant for her father, Rola’s agency released a statement that said she was shocked at the situation, but had no further information and gave no comment.