Saitama cops crack down on non-yakuza gangs for brawl

Ex-Kanto Rengo members were arrested for last year's beating death in Roppongi
Ex-Kanto Rengo members were arrested for last year’s beating death in Roppongi
TOKYO (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police on Monday announced the arrest of 31 suspects connected with special criminal groups for violent incidents that took place earlier this year, reports Nikkan Sports (June 17).

On the morning of January 20, a 30-member gang from northern Saitama armed with metal bats clashed with a group double that size from Gunma Prefecture in front of Jimbohara Station, located in the Kodama district of Saitama. Officers arrested 24 members of the Saitama gang on charges of assembly with dangerous weapons. Two suspects have had documents filed with prosecutors.

The altercation resulted in the destruction of one vehicle.

The gangs are considered new criminal elements. Dubbed han gure — in which han means half and gure comes from a word that approximates drifting — the groups are not officially affiliated with organized crime. Many members, however, were formerly enlisted in bosozoku biker gangs, which was the case with one 19-year-old suspect arrested in Saitama.

The suspects arrested in the beating death that took place last year in Tokyo’s Roppongi district are former members of the Kanto Rento bosozuku group. These ex-members are presently referred to as han gure.

Officers also arrested seven other members of the Saitama gang over involvement in 15 cases of arson and robbery.

Law enforcement from Saitama is currently cooperating with the Gunma Prefectural Police in investigating the group from Gunma.

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