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Gangsters busted for extorting deaf Tokyo man with sign language

The emblem of the Sumiyoshi-kai
The emblem of the Sumiyoshi-kai
TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of two organized crime members for blackmailing a deaf man, reports the Sankei Shimbun (June 5).

Officers from the Joto Police Station, located in Koto Ward, took Futoshi Abe, 48, and Takamichi Toyofuku, 45, both members of the Sumiyoshi-kai criminal organization, into custody for extorting a 75-year-old Tokyo man with a hearing impairment out of 1.5 million yen on January 6 of last year.

Abe, a resident of Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, claimed to have had property and a business washed away in the tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake. “We’ll return to get you if you don’t pay up,” the pair reportedly threatened in sign language.

According to police, Abe and Toyofuku are also deaf.

Both suspects have reportedly denied the allegations.

Toyofuku and the victim are acquaintances. The suspects told police that the money was actually a loan.