Officers took Kenichi Sekiguchi, 51, and Eiji Kato, 37, into custody for violating of the Anti-Prostitution Law regarding introductory services.
Starting in November of last year, the suspects are alleged to have utilized LINE to recruit 10 teenage girls for work as prostitutes and to find customers, who were solicited by posts to bulletin boards that included photos of young girls in school uniforms.
The teens would reportedly wait for potential customers inside fast food outlets in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, and Shibuya areas. The clients then evaluated the young females through the windows of the shop from the street before departing for a nearby love hotel.
In one case, the suspects allegedly introduced two girls, aged 15 and 17, to a pair of male customers in Shinjuku on May 18. Both customers also face charges of prostitution.
Sekiguchi and Kato kept 40 percent of the fees charged to the customers. Since November, the group collected 15 million yen in total revenue.
Sekiguchi has reportedly admitted to the allegations. “I thought that if I used LINE I would evade detection by the police,” the suspect is quoted by law enforcement, according to Nikkan Sports (June 3).
Sekiguchi was arrested on the same charges in May of 2011.