FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police have arrested six persons suspected in the theft and resale of gold worth more than 700 million yen last year in Fukuoka City, reports TBS News (May 23).
Police have arrested Takumi Uchida, 24, and Kazuki Noguchi, 42, both residents of Nagoya, for posing as investigators in the alleged theft of about 160 kilograms of gold bars outside JR Hakata Station in July.
Uchida and Noguchi are believed to have worked in complicity with two other persons in carrying out the crime. Police expect to apprehend several other persons over both the theft and resale of the gold.
In carrying out the initial crime, at least four men falsely announced themselves as “police” to persons in possession of the gold under the premise that they were engaging in a smuggling investigation. The thieves then took custody of the gold, which was packaged in attache cases, under the guise of an inspection and fled the scene by car.
Prior to being stopped, the victims were transporting the gold to a shop for sale in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The value of the gold bars stolen has since been revised upward to 760 million yen from an initial estimate of 600 million yen, police said.
Fake police uniforms believed to have been worn by the suspects were found in Yamaguchi. As well, two vehicles used in the getaway were discovered in Hiroshima Prefecture.
Two other persons arrested in the case include Taro Komatsuzaki, a businessman in Tokyo, and his associate. They have been accused of purchasing a portion of the gold, valued at around 400 million yen, while knowing it was stolen.