SAITAMA (TR) – A former gangster on death row has been arrested for murder in the killing of a real estate executive who went missing two decades ago, reports TBS News (Apr. 10).
On Monday, Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested Osamu Yano, a 67-year-old former head of the Yano Mutsumi-kai, a one time affiliate gang of the Sumiyoshi-kai, on charges of murder in the death of Mamoru Saito, a 49-year-old real estate executive whose whereabouts became unknown in 1998.
The arrest follows a confession by Yano. Last year, he told investigators that the body of Saito had been dumped in Saitama Prefecture. In November, a search crew found human bones in a mountainous area of the town of Tokigawa that were later confirmed to belong to Saito.
Yano is currently on death row for ordering two members of his gang to carry out a shooting that left four people dead at a “snack” hostess club in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture on January 25, 2003.
This is the second such incident involving Yano that emerged last year. In April, police using information provided by the mobster found the body of Shizuo Tsugawa, a 60-year-old real estate executive, in a mountainous area of Isehara City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
In the case of Saito, he went missing after a meeting in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo’s Toshima Ward on April 5, 1998. According to information released in a court-related report in September of 2014, Yano said Saito was abducted and strangled to death over money problems that included a loan of 86 million yen.
According to police, the arrest of a person on death row is very rare. In the case of Yano, police launched an investigation after hearing what he had to say in an unofficial interview.