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Ex-yakuza dressed in drag while at large

Masaru Abe
Masaru Abe before his arrest, left, and after (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Imagine, if you will, a former gangster accused of murder, a cold-blooded shooting that took place inside a karaoke parlor. Imagine further that he is now on the run from the long arm of the law.

Such a scenario may bring to mind the escapades of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in “Bonnie and Clyde.” But for Masaru Abe, a 56-year-old former member of the Sumiyoshi-kai, his life at large was closer to “Mrs. Doubtfire,” reports Fuji News Network (July 12).

At around 6:30 p.m. on July 11, police apprehended Abe inside a parking lot in Edogawa Ward. Officers later accused him of murder over the fatal shooting of another former gangster.

On January 21, Abe allegedly shot Lee Hung Jong, a 65-year-old former member of the same gang, three times in the chest and arm inside a karaoke parlor in the Kabukicho red-light district. The victim was later confirmed dead at a hospital.

Tokyo police apprehend Masaru Abe in Edogawa Ward on July 11
Tokyo police apprehended Masaru Abe in Edogawa Ward on July 11 (FNN)

In disguise

Just before apprehending Abe, police spotted a vehicle that he is believed to have used in the parking lot. When he approached the vehicle, about 10 officers were waiting for him.

At the time, Abe was wearing a women’s wig, black glasses and a brown hat, a disguise that he believed to have used during his time on the run. He was also wearing a blue and white striped shirt.

However, Abe quickly shed the act and turned to violence as he attempted to flee. In photographs later taken of the suspect, he was shown bleeding from a wound beneath his left eye. Upon his apprehension, he was in possession of one pistol.

“I aimed for his heart and fired several shots,” Abe was quoted by police in admitting to murder.

Masaru Abe
A depiction of the clothes Masaru Abe wore while on the run (FNN)

Stolen girlfriend

Following the shooting in Shinjuku, Abe fled by motorcycle. Police later found a motorcycle, helmet and red hat at an apartment building in the Okubo area, about 600 meters from the where the incident took place.

Lee was a national of South Korea who left the Sumiyoshi-kai more than two decades ago. An investigative source told weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun that the motive for the crime was revenge.

“Immediately following the incident, it emerged that [Lee] stole Abe’s girlfriend while he was in prison,” the investigative source said.