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Nagoya prostitution ring used smartphone app to solicit 30,000 customers

AICHI (TR) – Aichi Prefectural Police have busted a prostitution ring that is believed to have recruited tens of thousands of customers through a smartphone application, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 9).

Among those arrested was Kohei Kino, the 27-year-old leader of Akatsuki, which took its name from the famous animated film. Between October, 2016 and this past February, the ring is believed to have collected around 600 million yen from about 30,000 customers.

Thus far, police have accused Kino and eight other men of working together to dispatch women to hotels in the Sakae area of Naka Ward to provide honban, or full sex, to male customers on January 23 and the following day.

Kino, who has been accused of violating the Anti-Prostitution Law, denies the allegations. “Since there is no evidence, I have nothing to say,” the suspect was quoted by police. Meanwhile, the other eight suspects admit to the charges.

After receiving an anonymous tip last February, police launched an investigation.

The members competed with one another in the recruitment of the customers, which was done with them posing as women on a smartphone deai-kei dating app. Streets scouts recruited the women to serve as prostitutes, police said.