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Philippine national 19th suspect in Akasaka heist

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested another suspect — bringing the total to 19 — for participation in the alleged robbery of more than 80 million yen from two employees of a precious metals dealer in Minato Ward last year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 10).

On the afternoon of January 5, 2019, two perpetrators came up behind the employees on a road just north of the Tokyo Midtown shopping and office complex in the Akasaka area. “I’ll stab you,” one of the perpetrators threatened while holding a knife.

After beating both victims over the head, the perpetrators snatched a bag containing about 81 million yen in cash and fled in a car driven by a third man. The victims suffered injuries that required between two and three weeks to heal, police said previously.

The latest suspect is Gian Rey Zuleta, 21-year-old male national of the Philippines. “I do not recall [the matter],” the suspect was quoted by police in denying the allegations.

Gian Rey Zuleta (Twitter)

According to police, the money was in some unspecified way passed from the two perpetrators to a then 19-year-old boy. Later on the day of the robbery, Zuleta abducted the youth in Saitama Prefecture and confined him inside a vehicle.

After assaulting the boy, Zuleta took the 81 million yen in cash. Police believe that the suspect then transferred the money to another individual.

The boy suffered a broken nose that required four weeks to heal, police said.

18 other arrests

Previously, police had arrested 18 suspects, including four members of the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate. Despite the arrests, the location of the money remains unknown.

After the incident, the victims told police that they were headed to use the cash to make a purchase of gold bars from a precious metals dealer. The meeting point was supposed to be a residence.

However, police were unable to confirm the existence of the residence, leading them to suspect that the victims had been set up.