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Tokyo: Yakuza boss among 7 gangsters nabbed for extortion

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested seven gangsters, including the boss of a criminal syndicate, for allegedly using threats to collect money from businesses in Nerima Ward, reports TV Asahi (July 11).

Between February, 2016 and last month, Masatoshi Yonamine, the 44-year-old boss of a gang affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai, and the six other gangsters allegedly collected 620,000 yen in mikajimeryo — or “protection money” — from three bars.

In carrying out the crime, one of the suspects told management of the businesses that they were operating in a territory controlled by the Yohei-ikka, an affiliate gang of the Sumiyoshi-kai. The suspects then demanded 20,000 yen each month as “a relationship fee.”

Masatoshi Yonamine
Masatoshi Yonamine of the Sumiyoshi-kai (Twitter)

All seven of the suspects, who have been accused of extortion, deny the allegations. “No threats were made to collect money,” Yonamine was quoted by police.

Since 2011, the suspects are believed to have collected a total of 2.5 million yen from the same businesses.

Police suspect the gang members carried out the same crime with other businesses in the area.