TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a married couple for abducting a man met online and holding him for ransom, reports Jiji Press (Nov. 7).
Over a more than 24-hour period ending on March 28, Natsuki Ito, 39, and his wife Eiko, 34, allegedly confined the man, a 28-year-old resident of Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture, inside a vehicle. When the victim attempted to flee, he was injured when Natsuki choked him.
The suspects then telephoned the man’s parents and demanded a ransom of 800,000 yen, which was paid, for his release.
Both suspects, who have been charged with demanding a ransom and abduction resulting in injury, deny the charges, telling police they “do not recall” the incident.
The suspects met the victim through an online video game in February. For nearly three weeks, the victim lived with the suspects in their residence in Nerima Ward.
Due to abuse inflicted by the suspects, the man then fled to his home in Nagaoka. However, Natsuki arrived at the home and lured the victim out by claiming that he should offer a “greeting” his wife. The suspects then committed the alleged crimes as they took him back to Tokyo.
The victim subsequently escaped from the vehicle in Taito Ward and sought help from a patrol officer.