Photo/Illutration Uber Eats delivery staff transport food by bicycle or motorcycle in Tokyo in 2020. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department referred Uber Japan Co. and two former senior officials to prosecutors on June 22 on suspicion of violating the immigration control law, such as practicing illegal employment.

They are suspected of having hired Vietnamese who had overstayed their visas to work as delivery staff for its major food delivery service, Uber Eats.

It was the first time that an operating company was referred to prosecutors on suspicion of being associated with illegal employment.

Police are seeking criminal charges to be brought against Uber Japan, which operated Uber Eats in the past, and a former female senior official, 47, and a former female compliance official, 36.

According to the police, both former officials are suspected of helping employ a 30-year-old male and 24-year-old female Vietnamese as Uber Eats delivery staff without checking their residency statuses between June and August 2020.

The former senior official in her 40s denied the accusation, saying, “I was not informed of it and I didn’t know about it.”

The former official in her 30s said, “I knew that there were problems with the foreigners’ registration.”

According to the police, in Tokyo, there have been many cases where foreign Uber Eats delivery staff were arrested or their cases sent to prosecutors.

The police said that they took such cases very seriously and have instructed the operating company to take corrective measures.