Nigerian owner of Kabukicho club arrested for drugging, ripping off customers

The manager of Little Cat in Kabukicho
The manager of Little Cat in Kabukicho
TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Saturday announced the arrest of the Nigerian owner of a bar in Shinjuku Ward and three employees for drugging male customers and then stealing money from their bank accounts, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 31).

Officers took Emanuel John, the 44-year-old manager of Little Cat, which is located in the red-light district of Kabukicho, and three hostesses into custody on theft charges.

On April 20, a hostess allegedly spiked a vodka drink served to a 42-year-old male customer with a sleeping powder. His cash card was then stolen from his wallet and taken to a nearby convenience store ATM, where 1.3 million yen was withdrawn.

One hostess has reportedly admitted to the allegations while the other three suspects have denied involvement. “We would make them drink and steal their cards,” said the hostess, according to Sports Nippon (Aug. 31).

Over a three-month period beginning in April, it is estimated that the club utilized similar tactics in 20 cases to steal approximately 10 million yen, police said.

Little Cat has been in operation for seven years, during which time investigators believe customers have been robbed of a total of 300 million yen.

Tokyo Style


  1. How do the hostesses know the ATM PIN code for the card? Do the drugs make the victims reveal their PIN number? Are the victims coerced in some sort of way to reveal their pin because they have been accused of a large bill but are too incapacitated to move themselves, so they tell the victim, “we will go get the money for you”? And, if so, wouldn’t the victim know the money is missing right away and know because of the time stamp? I don’t understand how this sort of crime can happen.

      • The drug of choice out there is scopolamine. It’s street name is the devil’s breath. Basically the victim is under anyone’s control and will obey every command and answer every question, hence why they got his PIN number. It’s huge in South America and been around Japan for a few years now. Be careful because this drug is extremely hard to notice in drinks and too much can cause death. It’s pretty much a stepped up roofie.

  2. I’m currently visiting Japan for 3 months and lived through this experience recently so I’ll chime in on this (though I feel like a fool for getting robbed that easily.. libido will make you do pretty unwise stuff..) and try to tell you how everything kindda went down.

    So when you enter, you have some credit card stickers on the wall, looked “legit” *cough*, so I asked them if it was cool to use a credit card to which, of course, they agreed. I think that’s where my downfall was since they knew I had a credit card and from then on, I was easy picking by spiking my drink.

    So after being woken up from a 5~hours “nap”, I was pressured to use my credit card to pay my bill (remember, I was completely phased out/incapacitated because of the drug) and made me use my card on a, most probably, bogus machine that they had in the bar. To be honest, I have no idea if I actually managed to punch in my PIN correctly at that point, but I would assume that yes, though the manager was telling me that the transaction wasn’t completed. From that point I got forced to go to an ATM with one of their goons at which, he might have spied on me punching my PIN and they simply used my credit card info gathered earlier from their machine to bill me over 500k¥. I was alone at the bar and no, I can’t drink for that much money nor can any service provided add up to this. To add insult to injury, they even stole one of my tshirts, like it wasn’t enough already…

    And this is why my last month has been kind of a mess, jumping through tons of hoops with the Shinjuku police station, Visa and all the help I tried to get from different places (embassy, foreign center, etc.)

    Strangely enough, reading that article, I wonder if it’s not that place that robbed me…. No idea how the place was called, of course, since they all look the same, sitting on a random 4th floor of some generic building in Kabucho…

  3. Jack is absolutely right. I’m forced to spend my tourist dollars in other parts of Tokyo because of these(Nigerian) parasites. Is that what the good/hard working people of Kabukicho really want ??

  4. Same thing happened to me except I was assaulted when I refused to pay more than a reasonable sum – at this very place in July 2014.

      • No. I should have. But I was embarrassed so I slept it off in a Chinese massage parlor and took the morning train home to Chiba. I fought back, but the owner had a bodyguard who bum rushed me and I was messed up from the drug. Got him by the balls once but got knocked down twice. Bastards got around $600. The hostesses were an older Filipino and an overweight Kenyan. There were 2 Navy guys (American, maybe 19 or so) who split the moment the fighting broke out. Smarter than I was.

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