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Osaka cops: Yakuza extorted taxi driver in Kita Shinchi

A taxi in Kita Shinchi, Osaka
A taxi in Kita Shinchi, Osaka

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police on Wednesday announced the arrest of an organized crime member in the extortion of a 64-year-old taxi driver who works in the Kita Shinchi entertainment area, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 9).

Between January of 2011 and September of last year, Susumu Osada, a 64-year-old member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, collected 2.55 million yen in 58 payments from the driver as a part of a “protection money” collection racket known as mikajimeryo.

“I’m not sure what will happen if the money is not paid,” the suspect allegedly told the victim.

Police have also arrested three other participants in the alleged crime. All four suspects deny the allegations. “I didn’t get any money from (the driver),” Osada is quoted by officers from the Tenma Police Station.

In December, the driver was fined 500,000 yen for operating a taxi without a proper license under the Road Transportation Law. During the investigation, police uncovered evidence of payments made at fixed intervals to at least one account affiliated with Susumu.