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Boy, 17, double-crosses fraud ring, tosses takings ‘into Imperial Palace moat’

TOKYO (TR) – They came armed with a fire extinguisher, stun gun and pepper spray. But, after their arrest, they probably would have preferred diving gear.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested two men for damaging the residence of a boy working in a fraud ring he double-crossed, reports the Asahi Shimbun (April 3).

On March 20, Masaya Mizuno, 48, and the second suspect allegedly arrived at the residence of the boy, 17, in Inagi City and sprayed fire retardant from the fire extinguisher through the mail box slot at the entrance.

The retardant caused damage to shoes, the Tama-Chuo Police Station said.

Divers searched for defrauded money in the Imperial Palace moat on March 29 (Twitter)

As the incident unfolded, the parents of the boy called police. Officers then apprehended the pair on suspicion of trespassing and causing property damage.

Both suspects admitted to the allegations. “[We came] to collect the money the boy made off with,” one of the suspects told police.

According to police, the fraud ring carried out scams known as tokushu sagi, whereby victims are targeted over the telephone.

The boy was tasked with picking up cash from victims. In once case, he is believed to have collected 3 million yen from a man in his 80s.

Masaya Mizuno (Twitter)

“I became scared”

However, he failed to deliver the money to the members of the ring, who then hired the suspects to retrieve the cash, according to TBS News.

“I became scared and threw the money into the Imperial Palace moat,” said the boy, who has been arrested for fraud.

He also said that he kept 340,000 yen. On May 29, divers searched the moat for the remaining cash. However, no money was found.