HOKKAIDO (TR) – Aomori Prefectural Police on Monday arrested the president of a seafood processing company in Hakodate City as a part of an ongoing crackdown on a yakuza-linked poaching ring, reports the Hokkaido Shimbun (Nov. 30).
Mikiro Takeda, the 68-year-old head of seafood processing company M. T. Seafoods, allegedly purchased 960 kilograms of sea cucumbers (valued at 2.88 million yen) from a group caught poaching in Mutsu Bay in October.
Takeda, who has been charged with violating the Act on the Protection of Fishery Resources, denies the allegations.
As a part of the investigation, police have arrested a total of 10 people, including Takeshi Hatada, a 25-year-old member of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. The group is believed to have sold poached seafood valued at a total of 200 million yen since last year.
Takeda resold the seafood obtained from the ring to traders who then exported it to China and other overseas locations, police said.
The relationship between Takeda and the ring is believed to have started in January. On Monday, investigators raided the offices of M.T. Seafoods and seized data and materials suspected to be connected to the case, according to NHK (Nov. 30).