TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday morning arrested the number-two boss of the Inagawa-kai organized crime group for accepting proceeds acquired through a credit card fraud that facilitated payments to sex clubs, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 20).
Officers from the anti-organized crime division of the metropolitan police took Kazuo Uchibori, 59, into custody for receiving proceeds generated by criminal activities — a violation of the Act for Punishment of Organized Crimes.
Uchibori has reportedly denied the allegations. “I don’t know what you are talking about,” investigators quoted the suspect.
In an ongoing sting, officers have thus far made 12 arrests, including last month’s apprehension of two other Inagawa-kai upper members, Takashi Yamaguchi, 62, and 46-year-old Hirofumi Matsuyama.
The scheme involved establishing fake restaurant businesses that served to broker payments for customers at 30 sex clubs that were not able to accept credit cards. A 20 percent premium — as reported by the Mainichi Shimbun — was then added to the sex club fees, which was collected by the gangsters.
In March and April of this year, Yamaguchi and Matsuyama are alleged to have received 650,000 yen in funds provided by lower-ranking Inagawa-kai boss Kimihiro Tsukada, 65, currently under prosecution for computer-related fraud, through the gang’s jonokin system in which junior members funnel money to upper bosses.
An arrest warrant for Uchibori had previously been issued for his involvement in the fraud. The boss is alleged to have received 50,000 yen through Tsukada from one soapland (erotic bathhouse) in April. All told, investigators believe the Uchibori received 3.55 million yen via bank transfer from gang subordinates between June 2006 and April of this year.
Tsukada is suspected to have defrauded a total of 1.73 billion yen from credit card companies since September 2005.