TOKYO (TR) – Amid a surge in customers being overcharged by clubs in Shinjuku Ward, police on Friday announced an intensification of patrols to combat the increase, reports the Sankei Shimbun (May 24).
Between January and April, police received approximately 1,000 complaints of bottakuri, or overcharging, at hostess clubs in the Kabukicho red-light district. The figure is 10 times larger than that of one year ago.
Last week, police arrested six employees at two hostess clubs for the crime. In one case, the suspects demanded 164,000 yen from a pair of male customers in February for 60 minutes of service. The victims had previously agreed to a rate of 3,000 yen per hour.
Police had received 116 complaints of overcharging at the same club over the past four months. The total damage to the victims is estimated to be 28 million yen.
According to public broadcaster NHK (May 23), officers are walking through the district and distributing brochures and issuing verbal warnings to raise awareness about the dangers clubs operating illegally.
“In order to make Tokyo the world’s safest city, it is essential that these rip-off cases end,” said Tatsuya Aoki, the chief of the Shinjuku Police Station. “If left as is, the current situation will create a negative image for Japan’s security situation.”