CHIBA (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have raided the office of a criminal syndicate in Chiba Prefecture as a part of an investigation into a fraud ring that swindled victims via online gift cards, reports Fuji News Network (Dec. 13).
On Wednesday, officers entered the office of the Aota-kai, a second-tier gang of the Sumiyoshi-kai, in Sanmu City, Chiba, on suspicion that members of the gang are key figures in the ring, which targeted persons via telephone.
In November of last year, a woman, then aged 58 and living in Yokohama, was falsely told over the telephone by a member of the ring that she had accumulated unpaid fees “for a pay-to-view video site.”
The woman was then instructed to visit a convenience store to buy 250,000 yen in Amazon.co.jp gift cards that were later obtained by the ring.
According to police, Satoshi Kuwata, a 37-year-old member of the Sumiyoshi-kai, and 38-year-old Haroyuki Ochi are the ringleaders. Kuwata, who was arrested on suspicion of fraud last month, denied the allegations.
Police believe the ring used similar means to swindle a total of 60 million yen from multiple victims nationwide.