TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested former a sumo wrestler and five accomplices suspected in a series of frauds whereby the victims were swindled out of 10 million yen, police said on Tuesday.
In November of last year, Takeshi Tomiyama, a 41-year-old former rikishi, university student Takaya Abe, 25, and four others allegedly called a woman in her 50s at her home in Yokohama and collected 250,000 yen worth of gift cards by falsely claiming she had unpaid fees from a website, NHK reports (Jan. 24).
Police stopped short of saying whether the six suspects have admitted to the charges, citing a potential “hindrance to the investigation.”
The suspects told the woman, a caretaker, that she “has unpaid registration fees at a paid movie streaming website, so we want you to pay in Amazon gift cards,” according to police.
Tomiyama, who wrestled under the name Wakainami over a career that spanned nearly two decades, played the role of calling the woman to make the false claim.
Police suspect the group was behind 10 similar cases that have taken place since October of last year in which the total amount defrauded was around 10 million yen.