TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested former Chiba Lotte Marines infielder Shota Omine over the alleged attempted extortion of a sportswriter last year, reports Sankei Sports (Feb. 13)
In early November, Omine, 27, allegedly sent a message via telephone to the male sportswriter, 34, in which he demanded 400,000 yen while claiming to have ties to a yakuza syndicate.
“I do not acknowledge extortion,” the suspect was quoted by the Sugamo Police Station in denying the allegations.
Omine retired from Nippon Professional Baseball in June of last year. “Due to money trouble resulting from my not being able to repay loans to various people in my private life, I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience I may have caused,” Omine said in a statement released through the club at the time.
The sportswriter became acquainted with Omine when he covered his retirement. The suspect’s demand for money began in August.
The sportswriter loaned him 2 million yen to cover various expenses claimed by the suspect. In November, the sportswriter consulted with police.
In five years with the Marines, Omine accumulated a .210 average over 196 games.