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Key Yamaguchi-gumi boss arrested over shaved head of member seeking to leave

OSAKA (TR) – Police have arrested a key boss in the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate over an incident last year in which a member seeking to leave the gang was forced to have his head shaved, reports Sankei Sports (Feb. 1).

On February 1, about 70 officers raided the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi, located in Kobe’s Nada Ward, in search of evidence in the case.

Last month, police arrested Joji Matsuoka, the 51-year-old boss of the Shoyu-kai, a second-tier gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and 14 other persons, including other upper-level gang members on suspicion of coercion under the Law on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds.

Joji Matsuoka of the Yamaguchi-gumi
Joji Matsuoka of the Yamaguchi-gumi (Twitter)

In September of last year, the suspects allegedly used barber’s clippers to forcibly shave the head of a gang member, aged in his 30s, who sought to leave a life of crime inside the headquarters of the Shoyu-kai, located in Osaka City’s Kita Ward.

Within the tree-branch-like Yamaguchi-gumi hierarchy, Matsuoka is designated as a chokkei, meaning he is in a line directly leading to the top boss, who is Shinobu Tsukasa.