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Tokyo: More members of extortion ring nabbed over photo scam

Yu Shimosato
Yu Shimosato (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police are continuing a crackdown on a notorious ring of extortionists whose members target men by making false claims in connection with the taking of illicit photographs, reports TBS News (July 11).

According to the Harajuku Police Station, the most recent suspects are Yu Shimosato, a 29-year-old home interior worker, and Takeru Oshiro, a 23-year-old delivery employee, all of whom have been accused of blackmail. All five suspects deny the allegations, with at least one saying he “does not recall clearly” the matter, police said.

In April, the suspects spotted a man, 44, taking tosatsu, or voyeur, photographs of a woman on a platform at JR Maihama Station in Chiba Prefecture. They then played various roles in accosting him at JR Shin-Kiba Station, located in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, and demanding payment of 1 million yen.

In carrying out the ruse, one suspect falsely said, “That’s my girlfriend.” The victim was then ordered to pay 1 million yen as an out-of-court settlement.

Previously this year, police arrested several other members of the ring, which law enforcement has labelled as the “Black Tosatsu Hunters.” Police believe that Shimosato, Oshiro and the other three suspects have reaped 30 million yen in carrying out the scam on more than 20 occasions.