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Tokyo cops arrest another member of extortion ring that swindled men in illicit photo scam

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested another member of an extortion ring that targets men by making false claims in connection with the taking of illicit photographs, reports TBS News (Jan. 17).

In May of last year, Shinichi Watanabe, 28, worked with an accomplice, 24, in accusing a man of taking tosatsu, or voyeur, photographs of the lower body of a woman at JR Ikebukuro Station in Toshima Ward.

“The girl became panicked,” one of the perpetrators told the victim in accosting him. “I would like you to pay 1.5 million yen as an out-of-court settlement to her mother.”

Watanabe, who has been accused of attempted blackmail, denies the allegations. “I do not clearly recall [the matter],” the suspect was quoted by police.

Shinichi Watanabe
Shinichi Watanabe (Twitter)

After being accused of illicit filming by the suspects, the victim told them he did not have the amount in cash. They then ordered him to use his credit card to buy a Shinkansen train ticket, which would then be converted to cash at a ticket shop. However, the victim managed to flee while the suspects were distracted and before handing over the money.

Last year, police arrested several other members of the ring, including the 24-year-old accomplice. Law enforcement has labelled the ring as the “Tosatsu Hunters.”