OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police last week arrested two gang members formerly affiliated with the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi for extorting the male manger of a parlor in the fuzoku (commercial sex) trade, reports Jiji Press (May 31).
On two occasions in 206 and the year before, Takesi Higashino, the 48-year-old chairman of the Osaka-based Hodo Rengo, fellow gangster Hiro Kawasuji, 50, and one other person are alleged to have threatened the manager, 39, with messages sent via mobile phone. “If you refuse our offer, it will be the end of you,” one of the messages read.
In April, the Hodo Rengo was among the gangs to leave the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi due to dissatisfaction with internal operations on the part of upper-level management. The dissenting gangs subsequently formed the Ninkyo Dantai Yamaguchi-gumi with the Hodo Rengo as a key affiliate gang.
At around 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, about 12 officers raided the headquarters of the Hodo Rengo, which since the split has been using the name Kizuna Rengo, in search of evidence in the extortion case. Computers and name lists were seized from inside by police.
According to the Sankei Shimbun (June 1), police fear that the Ninkyo Dantai Yamaguchi-gumi could eventually engage in a turf battle with the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. The search was an opportunity for police to gain intelligence regarding the possible direction to be taken by the new gang.