A Chinese man has been arrested in Japan after his apartment was searched and an allegedly large quantity of materials for printing fake documents was seized.

On January 11, authorities raided the apartment belonging to a 27-year-old Chinese man in Kawaguchi, Saitama where they found 2,300 blank white cards that were suspected to be for printing fake residence permits, Nikkei reported. The fake permits were allegedly set to be sold to illegal workers from China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The man reportedly said orders for the fake permits were placed on a social network site, with each card being sold for 1,000 yen (US$9.20). According to the Immigration Bureau of Japan, he started printing fake permits in December when he got into financial trouble. At the time of the police raid he had already delivered 1,000 orders.

Fake permits can sell for 20,000 (US$184) to 30,000 yen (US$276) on the black market. Officials said the low-priced permits were part of an operation orchestrated by a large criminal organization.

Between January and October 2018, 523 cases of fake residence permits were reported throughout Japan. Tokyo had the most cases with a tally of 192. Illegals caught by the Japanese authorities with fake documentation are deported by the government.