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Arrest of Yamaguchi-gumi’s #3 boss further depletes upper ranks

Hirofumi Hashimoto
Hirofumi Hashimoto (center) of the Yamaguchi-gumi

OSAKA (TR) – In yet another blow to the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group, Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested the gang’s number-three boss on suspicion of fraud related to the purchase of a vehicle, reports Fuji News Network (Feb. 19).

In September of 2014, Hirofumi Hashimoto, 69, allegedly did not reveal his gang affiliation in the purchase a Mercedes-Benz sedan. The vehicle was then registered at the Osaka branch of the Kinki District Transportation Bureau in the name of a 65-year-old relative.

Hashimoto, who is the head of the Osaka-based Kyokushin Rengo-kai, is the third-ranking under boss — known as wakagashira — to succeed Shinobu Tsukasa as the Yamaguchi-gumi’s next Godfather.

The arrest of Hashimoto further diminishes the upper ranks of theYamaguchi-gumi. In January, Hyogo police arrested Hironobu Ohara, the number-four boss, for also concealing his gang affiliation in the purchase of a vehicle. The second in command, Kiyoshi Takayama, is currently serving a six-year prison term for extortion.

Hashimoto purchased the vehicle with 16 million yen in cash. Police are now investigating how the suspect obtained the funds for the purchase.