The suspected brains behind a bogus land deal that cheated a major housing developer out of billions of yen has been detained in the Philippines by immigration authorities there.

Misao Kaminsukasu, 59, who formerly went by the name of Misao Koyama, is being held on suspicion of illegally staying in the country, Philippine authorities and Japanese investigation sources said Dec. 19.

Kaminsukasu had been on an international wanted list.

The Metropolitan Police Department in Tokyo plans to arrest him after he is extradited to Japan, which is expected as early as January.

So far, 16 people have been arrested over the land deal, in which the perpetrators swindled 5.55 billion yen ($50 million) from Sekisui House Ltd.

Kaminsukasu left Haneda Airport in Tokyo for the Philippines before dawn on Oct. 13, immediately before the first eight people were nabbed.

The MPD suspects Kaminsukasu played a leading role along with two others--Mike Uchida, 65, and Yoshio Doi, 63.

Uchida is suspected of having planned the fraud, while Doi allegedly doled out money from Sekisui House to people who took part in the scam.

According to investigators, Kaminsukasu participated in negotiations with Sekisui House along with Masami Haketa, 63, who pretended to be the owner of a plot of land in Tokyo’s Shinagawa Ward. The land previously housed a Japanese-style inn.

In the negotiations, Kaminsukasu claimed to be in charge of Haketa's financial affairs, and concluded a contract with Sekisui House for the bogus land transaction.

In February, he denied his involvement in the land scam in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun.

Referring to Haketa, he said: “I thought she was the authentic (owner). I was completely deceived.”