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Saitama cops raid yakuza office in baseball gambling probe

Police raided the Kokusui-kai headquarters on suspicion of illegal bookmaking
Police raided the Kokusui-kai headquarters on suspicion of illegal bookmaking

TOKYO (TR) – Amid a deepening nationwide baseball-betting scandal, Saitama Prefectural Police on Tuesday raided the headquarters of an organized crime group on suspicion of illegal bookmaking, reports Nippon News Network (Oct. 27).

Police raided the office of the Kokusui-kai, a second-tier organization of the Yamaguchi-gumi, whose headquarters is located in Taito Ward, for evidence in connection with 4.05 million yen in wagers placed on Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) games between April 20 of last year and August 19 of this year.

On October 21, police re-arrested Jun Shinoda, a 34-year-old upper member of the Kokusui-kai, for involvement in the case. Earlier this month, the Yomiuri Giants revealed that pitcher Satoshi Fukuda had placed bets on the summer high school tournament and 20 Major League Baseball and NPB games.

On the same day that Shinoda was arrested, an investigative panel for NPB revealed that two more Yomiuri pitchers — Shoki Kasahara and Ryuya Matsumoto — had also placed bets on baseball games.

Shinoda, a resident of Kounosu City, Saitama Prefecture, had been previously arrested in September for accepting wagers on NPB games and World Cup soccer matches in June of last year, according to Nikkan Sports (Oct. 20).

The Nikkan Sports report says that the cases involving Shinoda and the Yomiuri players are not related.

Also on Tuesday, police in Osaka announced the arrest of Sho Darvish, the younger brother of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, for running a bookmaking operation for NPB and MLB games.