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Pandemic not slowing Tokyo’s illicit photo extortionists

TOKYO (TR) – A ring of extortionists is continuing to operate seemingly unimpeded in spite of the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic.

Law enforcement calls the ring the “Tosatsu Hunters,” a label derived from their penchant for swindling perverts who take illicit photographs of women.

According to Fuji News Network (July 10), the latest suspect is Yuto Izumi, 21, who was accused of attempted extortion last week.

At just past 9:00 p.m. on July 7, Aizumi spotted a man in his 30s taking tosatsu, or voyeur, footage on a platform at Hana-Koganei Station in Kodaira City.

“If you don’t want this to get reported, pay me 150,000 yen,” the suspect reportedly demanded.

The next day, a police officer on patrol, sensing something suspicious, apprehended the suspect when he met with the victim to receive the cash.

“I wanted to repay debt and cover living expenses,” the suspect was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.

Most of the extortions have taken place in the more centrally located Ikebukuro area. Earlier this year, police made several arrests over cases that took place near JR Ikebukuro Station.

Last year, police arrested two other men for carrying out the crime in the same area. Other cases have emerged in Harajuku.