TOKYO (TR) – Police on Friday arrested 15 male Japanese nationals suspected in large telephone fraud carried out in Thailand after they arrived in Tokyo and Chiba Prefecture, reports Fuji News Network (May 25).
The suspects, aged between 22 to 54, had occupied a high-end residence in the city of Pattaya for the two months prior to a search conducted by local law enforcement on March 29. During the raid, officers seized 52 telephones and 19 computers.
Following their investigation, police in Thailand believed the suspects used the seized equipment to swindle primarily elderly persons in Japan in money-transfer scams in which the victims were told they were liable for unpaid fees. A manual that explained how to carry out the scam was also found inside the residence.
Police in Japan suspect that the suspects swindled at least 80 people out of 70 million yen.
Shinkuro Handa, 37, Yasutaka Toyama, 54, Ryu Iwamoto, 23, and Seiji Ikehara, 33 are four of the suspects. All 15 suspects arrived at Narita International Airport in Chiba and Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Friday night.
Police arrested the suspects on suspicion defrauding a woman in her 50s from Fukui Prefecture out of 300,000 yen through her purchase of electronic money on March 29.
Two suspects admit to the allegations. Six said that they “do not recall [the matter]” in denying the allegations. The other seven suspects have remained silent, police said.
Police also suspect that the ring is connected to a criminal syndicate in Fukuoka Prefecture.
The existence of the ring emerged after the landlord of the building grew suspicious about the equipment being used by the suspects. Initially, the suspects were accused of working illegally in Thailand.