‘Nigerian Mafia’ running wild in Kabukicho

Employees at a club in Kabukicho allegedly spiked a customer's drink before robbing him
Employees at a club in Kabukicho allegedly spiked a customer’s drink before robbing him

On Monday, Tokyo police announced the arrest of two Filipino hostesses working at club Little Cat, located in the red-light district of Kabukicho, for drugging male customers and then stealing money from their bank accounts. The manager of the club, a Nigerian national, had been previously arrested on the same charges in August.

According to evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 29), the case is not unusual as the “Nigerian Mafia” is continuing to make easy money in Kabukicho.

On August 23, a hostess at Little Cat allegedly spiked a vodka drink served to a 45-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 His cash card was then stolen from his wallet and taken to a nearby convenience store ATM, where 680,000 yen was withdrawn.

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

According to police, 70 percent of the club’s revenue went to the Nigerian owner, who is known to have constructed a palatial home in Nigeria worth 150 million yen.

Nikkan Gendai finds the latter figure to be astronomical, but journalist Tomoyuki Ueno says that a separate Nigerian Mafia bar in Kabukicho made one billion yen over a six-year period. The writer believes that these crimes are committed repeatedly since the police are fearful of being labeled as racists by the Nigerian Embassy.

“Given that this could prove to be a diplomatic embarrassment, the crimes are largely overlooked,” says Ueno.

Marriage to a Japanese national is a key element to the crimes. The tabloid claims that African men prefer chubby women — for whom finding a partner in Japan can be difficult — and target that body type for marriage and the acquisition of a spousal visa.

After that, African men are able to engage in a “department store of crimes,” says freelance writer Taizo Ebina.

Brokering heroin sales with yakuza members, forcing Filipino women into prostitution, performing money laundering, committing car theft and arranging fake marriages are among the common illegal schemes, according to the writer.

“They have strong eyesight,” claims Ebina. “They are able to spot a plainclothes cop at 100 meters at night. Because of that they are never caught.”

Source: “Konsui baa no kuromaku mo Kabukicho wo bakko suru naijeria mafea no teguchi,” Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 29, page 5)

Note: Brief extracts from Japanese vernacular media in the public domain that appear here were translated and summarized under the principle of “fair use.” Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy of the translations. However, we are not responsible for the veracity of their contents. The activities of individuals described herein should not be construed as “typical” behavior of Japanese people nor reflect the intention to portray the country in a negative manner. Our sole aim is to provide examples of various types of reading matter enjoyed by Japanese.



  1. fabulous, the racist comments in the article alone.
    Some fast talking j-dude tried to coax me into a dark stairway, one time. He’s lucky I left him merely scuffed in the alley. Round-eyes, tourist or not, look merely like wads of cash to all of the touts in Kabukicho… or it’s kin.
    If you’re stupid enough to go looking for action there, you’re more likely to get drugged and robbed. The cops don’t speak English, like it’s some kind of point of pride, so we’re fair game; fish in a barrel. Nigerians are nice enough while on commute. I’d never do any business with them. Even if you get some action, it’s not going to be ‘high class’ ever. Those ‘real’ joints are full of Japanese men who don’t want ‘your kind’ within their panorama.

    • I don’t think the country should be open to tourism. You allow people to come only to prey on them and reject them with a smile. It makes the culture come off as fake and scum, even though it’s just a few in the population ruining it for the majority. I understand it is domestic foreigners who helped create this mess, but not all foreigners are the same. And PS, we all know the Japanese are all yakuza in sheep clothing, and it’s why no country trusts you. You still believe we can’t tell. The ones who get duped, however, they’re the ones who believe in a better you than you do. So, I think it’s ok they are stupid enough to go looking for action anywhere that it’s advertised. You’ll only prove how untrustworthy you are and how fake your culture is the more you keep up those kinds of attitudes. And PS, sucks that Nigerians came and created a bad reputation for themselves there, and are making a worse one for foreigners (including Haitan foreigners like me who look Nigerian but am not). And it sucks that Europeans came and screwed with your country (as well as every other). But if you don’t like that, kick them out and close your doors already. And stop creating tourist traps or letting them exist. Oh, and how far do you think a country will get without learning English? Not far at this point. Think about it- what languages do all your business men have to know? Both Japanese and English, and if you’re lucky, Mandarin too. “Pride” in this case is the true stupidity. OP, grow up.

  2. Damn Nigerian street rats! Those no-lifes do nothing but bring trash to a peaceful country. Racism?? So what? The Nigerian embassy can cut diplomatic ties then if they don’t like it. Japanese police are too much of ass kissers. So these street rats get a free pass to crime since the police will be “racist” if they do any justice to them. Why the hell the government would let these rats claim a portion of their own land like that??

    • Not All Japanese are the same and the same goes for Nigerians. Racist, ignorant and stupid comments like that will show how far u think and how much u do not know about people. Also it would be wise to choose your words wisely or you can end up in pieces….in a black garbage bag with weights in it…..floating down in your own country waters. Think about it or they can get creative with ur body too. Think wisely before u talk. Oh yea and just to let you know if you cut ties with Nigeria your economy will suffer trust me.

  3. I’ve been robbed of about 100,000 yen, and my phone, in Kabukicho before.

    Yes, it did happen. I was drugged, by one girl who claimed to be Japanese but was probably Fillipina, and another who claimed to be Puerto Rican.

    This happened several years ago.

    Their scam was to escort me to the ATM, and then look at my pin number.

    I was drunk, and incautious.

    I have noticed much fewer Africans on the streets in bar districts these days. Seems like there was perhaps a crackdown or something.

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