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Man sought in connection with fraud ring operated by rival yakuza groups

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police are hunting for a 27-year-old man who is suspected of participating a fraud ring operated by rival yakuza groups, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 10).

According to police, Rui Fukai, a 32-year-old member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and Ryuji Aoki, a 28-year-old member of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, headed a ring that carried out what is called tokushu sagi, or special fraud, whereby victims are targeted over the telephone.

Fukai, who was arrested earlier this month, served as the ringleader. Meanwhile, Aoki, who has already been prosecuted on suspicion of fraud, presided over the collection of funds from victims.

On February 10, police released an image showing Junnosuke Nakamura, of no known occupation, who is believed to have maintained a list of potential victims and distributed swindled gains to members of the ring. In the image, Nakamura is shown with closely cropped hair and stubble on his chin.

Junnosuke Nakamura (Twitter)

Yamaguchi-gumi v. Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi

In 2015, the Yamaguchi-gumi splintered, with some members leaving to form the rival Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi. Currently, the gangs are engaged in a well-documented dispute.

However, the dispute did not stop Fukai and Aoki from collaborating. Between last April and June, the ring is believed to have swindled persons in Saitama and Chiba prefectures out of 14 million yen.

In one case, six members of the ring are alleged to have swindled a woman in her 70s living in Chiba Prefecture out of four of her bank cards. The cards were later used to withdraw 3 million yen in cash from her accounts.

Persons with knowledge of Nakamura’s whereabouts are advised to call the Police Station at 06-6943-1234.