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Osaka ‘delivery health’ business extorted customers in honban hoodwink

OSAKA (TR) – In Japan, paying for full sex is illegal — and you might wind up getting swindled.

Osaka Prefectural Police last month announced the bust of a so-called “delivery health” out-call service that extorted customers in a two-time payment ruse, reports evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Feb. 27).

Police have apprehended 10 male and female persons connected with service Megumi, including Kenji Kubota, the 30-year-old manager. Since March of last year, the service is believed to have swindled 172 persons out of 22.54 million yen.

The Reader’s Digest version of one case went as follows. In August of last year, a female employee of Megumi provided sexual services to a male customer at a hotel in the Nipponbashi area of Chuo Ward that he thought he had paid for in advance. Thereafter, Kubota allegedly attempted to extort the customer out of about 50,000 yen.

“We only demanded unpaid fees,” Kubota was quoted by the Minami Police Station in denying the allegations.

The full version of the ruse was actually carried out in two distinct parts, with various employees playing different roles.

Kenji Kubota
Kenji Kubota (center) of Megumi (Twitter)

“Beautiful ladies”

Kubota established a web site for Megumi, whose office is located near Nippombashi Station in Chuo. Two other male suspects served as street touts, offering passerby “beautiful ladies.”

Interested persons were directed to a love hotel and asked to make a payment in advance. Upon his entry to a room, a female employee from Megumi was already waiting inside.

After supplying a requested non-coital sexual service, the employee asked if the customer was interested in honban, or full sex, which is prohibited under the Anti-Prostitution Law, at a to-be-negotiated price.

When the session concluded, the employee told the customer that the hotel fee will be complimentary if he completed a survey and handed him a sheet of paper. Among the items in the survey was a question about whether he paid for honban, which he invariably had.

Kubota then entered the room, demanding payment of the standard fee for Megumi, which was 58,000 yen for 90 minutes. After the customer responded by saying that he already paid, Kubota grabbed the survey and pointed out that the provision of honban is a prohibited act as mentioned on the service’s web site.

A deal was brokered whereby the victim was required to pay a settlement — possibly as much as 1 million yen — via cash withdrawn at a nearby ATM on the spot or at a later time. In order to ensure payment was made, Kubota took photocopies of identification cards. A payment reminder that included a threat to inform the victim’s place of employment were sent via a social-networking service.

Started in Ikebukuro

An investigator tells Gendai that Kubota started carrying out the same crime in the Ikebukuro entertainment area of Tokyo’s Toshima Ward seven years. “After a crackdown, he came back to Osaka in January of last year,” the source says.

The arrest of Kubota for extortion is the second in the case. He was initially accused of fraud. Along with violations of the Anti-Prostitution Law, that is an unprecedented triumvirate, the investigator says.

“For a delivery health service, that is a nationwide first,” the source claims.