Fidias Panayiotou: YouTuber apologises for fare dodging, begging and eating without paying in Japan

A YouTuber could be investigated by Japanese police after begging for cash and hitching free train rides in a video online.

Fidias Panayiotou posted a video titled I Travelled Across Japan For Free on 20 October, which featured him and three others competing in a race across the country for $10,000 (£8,216).

The YouTuber, who has 2.4 million subscribers, filmed himself riding on Japan's public transportation system - and claimed he did so without paying.

In the since-removed video, Panayiotou said he'd been detained at a police station after he told officers he didn't have enough money to pay for his bus fare.

A stranger earlier gave him 600 yen (£3.30), but he was still short of the full fare.

According to Japanese laws, begging is not allowed in the country and may constitute a criminal offence.

He later in the video was caught by a train conductor for travelling without a ticket. He feigned illness before running away and boarding another train, where he hid in a bathroom to dodge staff.

A spokesperson from regional train operator Kyushu Railway Company said that they will review Panayiotou's video before they decide to lodge a police report.

"We are aware of the case and investigating facts around it," they said.

'I apologise to the Japanese people'

Panayiotou also filmed himself getting what he said was a free breakfast at a hotel he wasn't staying at.

"I went up to the rooms to check the number so that I could use it as a passcode for the breakfast," he said.

"And it worked. I just have access to a five-star Japanese buffet ... And we're leaving the hotel without getting caught and without any problem."

YouTube removed Panayiotou's video, saying it violated the platform's community guidelines.

He has since apologised, saying: "Hello beautiful people, I apologise to the Japanese people if we made them feel bad, that was not our goal!"