Tokyo cops: Ex-yakuza fraudulently obtained hepatitis remedy

Masayuki Katsura
Masayuki Katsura

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former organized crime member who allegedly misused a public assistance program to obtain pills to remedy hepatitis, reports TBS News (Nov. 22).

Between January and March, Masayuki Katsura, 52-year-old former member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, allegedly conspired with Kayoko Hitomi, who is already under prosecution in the case, to fraudulently obtain 82 pills of the medicine Sofosbuvir, which is used to treat hepatitis C.

Valued at 5.2 million yen, the pills were obtained by Hitomi from a hospital in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture after she falsely claimed the recipient was a hepatitis patient receiving public support, according to Jiji Press (Sept. 21).

Katsura denies the charges.

According to police, Katsura paid Hitomi a fee of 250,000 yen for the pills. “I want you to get me medicine,” he reportedly said to her.

Police believe that Katsura wanted to resell the pills with the proceeds going to his gang.

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