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Double dip: Member of ring swindled man in illicit photo scam twice

TOKYO (TR) – Another member of an extortion ring that targets men over the taking of illicit photographs has been arrested — and he seems to have gotten one victim twice, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 9).

On February 6, Shinnosuke Soma accused a man, a company employee aged in his 30s and living in Saitama Prefecture, of taking tosatsu, or voyeur, photographs of the lower body of a woman at JR Ikebukuro Station in Toshima Ward.

“Due to emotional distress, it will be necessary for you to cover medical bills of 95 million yen,” the suspect told the victim in allegedly extorting him.

That same day, a clerk at a bank tipped off police after noticing the victim behaving suspiciously as he attempted to withdraw 30 million yen from his account.

Two days later, officers apprehended Soma when he went to meet the victim near Nerima-Takanodai Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line.

Shinnosuke Soma
Shinnosuke Soma (Twitter)

“I did it to cover living expenses,” Soma was quoted by the Ikebukuro Police Station in admitting to charges of attempted extortion.

According to police, Soma is believed to have pulled the same ruse on the same victim at the same railway station in June of last year. In that case, he swindled him out of 7.5 million yen in cash, a crime that is under investigation.

Over the past year, police have arrested several other members of the ring for the same crime, which often takes place at JR Ikebukuro Station. Law enforcement has labelled the ring as the “Tosatsu Hunters.”