TOKYO (TR) – The National Police Agency on Thursday announced that bosozoku biker gangs will be classified as “pseudo-yakuza” groups to reflect the true state of their activities, reports Jiji Press (Mar. 7).
Also referred to by the term hangure, the factions have recently been accused of participating in bank remittance fraud and assault incidents.
“The funding sources of these groups are comparable to that of organized crime,” said an NPA representative, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 7).
The nationwide initiative intends to strengthen the ability of the police to track the activities of the gangs, who can currently be utilized by yakuza groups since they are not subject to anti-organized crime laws.
The move mainly targets two hangure gangs: Kanto Rengo, whose ex-members were arrested in the beating death of a restaurant owner in Roppongi, and Dragon, which is comprised of second- and third-generation returnees from China who came to Japan after the end of World War II.