TOKYO (TR) – Following the arrest of four persons for carrying out the alleged robbery of a convicted fraudster, police have arrested two other suspects for ordering the crime, reports TBS News (May 31).
According to police, Kide Chion, 23, and Tomoya Inoue, 24, ordered a woman and three youths to rob Ichiro Yamamoto, 78, at his residence in Ueno in the early morning hours of March 15.
Both suspects admit to the allegations, police said.
In pulling off the caper, Haruka Sueishi, of no known occupation, and three male youths, aged 18 and 19, worked together to intrude into the residence of Yamamoto and tie up his arms and legs with tape. They then fled the scene in vehicle after taking a bag containing about 120,000 yen in cash.
Through an examination of security camera, police identified the vehicle. The four suspects were apprehended in Yamaguchi Prefecture at around noon on March 15.
Pyramid scheme that targeted the elderly
More than two decades ago, Yamamoto was the chairman of Keizai Kakumei Club, a membership-based pyramid scheme that targeted the elderly in falsely promising high returns on investments. In 1997, he was accused of swindling investors out of 178 million yen.
Over the course of the investigation, police learned that KKC accumulated more than 35 billion yen from around 12,000 members. Police deemed a large portion of the amount as unrecoverable.
Yamamoto declined allegations during his trial in 1997, according to the Japan Times (July 16, 1997).
In 2000, the Tokyo District Court handed Yamamoto an 8-year prison term. He was released from prison seven years later.
In carrying out the crime in Ueno, the three youths are believed to have robbed Yamamoto while Sueishi drove the getaway car. While inside the residence, which also services as an office, one of the suspects threatened Yamamoto, reportedly saying, “We know you have 35 billion yen. I’ll kill [you].”