HOKKAIDO (TR) – Hokkaido Prefectural Police on Wednesday raided the office of an organized crime group over the alleged extortion of sex businesses in Sapporo earlier this year, reports the Hokkaido Shimbun (Feb. 15).
Police entered the office of the Seiyu-kai, an affiliate gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi, in search of evidence connected to the alleged collection of fees called yojimbo-dai — or bodyguard expenses — from sex businesses in the Susukino red-light district.
According to police, Daiki Sakatani, 42, and one other gang member allegedly collected 50,000 yen from two employees of sex businesses in the area on January 3.
A revision to a prefectural ordinance regarding the restriction of the activities of criminal syndicates in July of last year made it illegal both for merchants to pay yojimbo-dai fees and for syndicates to receive such monies. Previously, it was not a crime if the merchants consented to the payments.
The case regarding the Seiyu-kai is the first since the revision went into effect, police said.