TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the leader of a fraud ring who dispatched a trio of teenage boys via airplane to make pick-ups from victims, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 22).
In early July of last year, an elderly couple in Sapporo was told on the telephone by someone impersonating their son that he needed assistance after a bag containing his bank book had been stolen at a hospital.
Yuya Ueda, a 22-year-old resident of Yokohama, later sent one of the boys, then 17, to the couple’s residence collect 5 million yen in cash and three bank cards.
Ueda, who has been accused of fraud, denies the allegations. “I do not clearly recall [the matter],” the suspect was quoted.
According to police, Ueda covered the expenses for the three boys to travel via airplane to make collections from victims at locations across the country, including in Kumamoto and Fukuoka prefectures. While traveling, the boys carried maps and backpacks to pose as tourists.
The three boys admit to the allegations. The existence of the ring surfaced after one of the youths was investigated in a separate attempted extortion case, police said.
Since June of last year, the ring is believed to have collected about 60 million yen from victims, police said.