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Tokyo: Fraud ring with 14 members rented camper vans for HQs

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested 14 suspected members of a fraud ring who ran the operation from camper vans, reports TV Asahi (Feb. 4).

Among the 14 suspects are Yuki Sumi, 31, of no known occupation, and 22-year-old Rentaro Hayashizaki, according to police.

On February 1, one member of the ring posed as the son of an elderly man in Yokohama on the telephone, saying that he needed “money to cover the non-payment” of taxes derived from virtual currency transactions. The ring then allegedly attempted to defraud the man out of 1.2 million yen.

The following day, police found Sumi and two other members of the ring inside a van parked at a highway rest area in Higashi Matsuyama City, Saitama Prefecture. The other 11 members were apprehended at different rest areas in the prefecture.

Yuki Sumi and Rentaro Hayashizaki
Yuki Sumi (left), Rentaro Hayashizaki (center) and one other suspect (Twitter)

Sumi, who has been accused of fraud denies the allegations. “I do not understand at all the significance [of the matter],” the suspect was quoted.

The ring rented the vans in Tokyo. The members then traveled to rest areas and another places along highways in the Kanto and Tohoku areas to make telephone calls to swindle victims, police said.