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Osaka cops nab Yamaguchi-gumi members in fraudulent Benz purchase

Jin Okamoto
Jin Okamoto

OSAKA (TR) – As a part of an investigation into the fraudulent purchase of a vehicle by a top boss of the Yamaguchi-gumi, Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested four other gang members, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 23).

Jin Okamoto, a 44-year-old member of the Kyokushin Rengo-kai, Toshio Asano, 62, and two other gangsters are alleged to have fraudulently registered a Mercedes-Benz sedan by not using the real name of the purchaser, which was the gang’s boss, 69-year-old Hirofumi Hashimoto.

Last week, police arrested Hashimoto for not revealing his gang affiliation in the purchase of the vehicle, which was subsequently registered at the Osaka branch of the Kinki District Transportation Bureau by the suspects.

The name used for the registration was that of a 65-year-old relative of Hashimoto. Police have also issued a warrant for the arrest of the relative, according to the Mainichi Shimbun (Feb. 22).

The Kyokushin Rengo-kai is a second-tier organization of the Yamaguchi-gumi. Hashimoto is the third-ranking under boss — known as wakagashira — to succeed Shinobu Tsukasa as the Yamaguchi-gumi’s next Godfather.