TOKYO: Japanese police have arrested a sumo wrestler-turned-restaurateur for allegedly staging a sham marriage to a South Korean bar hostess 20 years his junior, officials and reports said Thursday.
Takaya Kobayashi, 49, whose ring name was Kotofuji, was detained Wednesday after notifying officials last February about his marriage to the 29-year-old Korean woman.
Kobayashi, who retired from the sumo ring in 1995, runs a beef barbecue restaurant and received 1.25 million yen ($12,200) in return for helping the woman obtain a permanent residency visa, Jiji Press and other media reported.
"The suspects conspired to fabricate a marriage by submitting marriage notification in February last year," a police spokesman told AFP.
Kobayashi lived in Chiba, east of he Japanese capital, while the Korean woman lived in downtown Tokyo, he said.
Kobayashi, who denies any wrongdoing, told police "this was a true marriage and we had planned to live together later", according to Jiji, which said that the woman had admitted the charge. -AFP