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Saitama cops search Yamaken-gumi HQ in Kobe

Kunio Inoue of the Yamaken-gumi
Kunio Inoue of the Yamaken-gumi

KOBE (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police on Friday searched the offices of a former affiliate gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi for firearms violations, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sep. 11).

At approximately 1:10 p.m., more than 50 officers wearing bulletproof vests entered the headquarters of the Yamaken-gumi, located in Chuo Ward, in search of evidence related to a shooting incident involving a rival gang in 2013. During the raid, riot police in helmets stood guard.

As a part of the case, police have arrested 12 gang members for firing shots at the headquarters of the Kyokuto-kai in Saitama City’s Iwatsuki Ward. Of those taken into custody, six have been prosecuted.

On Wednesday, Osaka police raided the Yamaken-gumi offices in investigating a fraud case.

The raids follow recent turmoil involving the gang.

On September 1, the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest organized crime group, chose to finalize the excommunication of 13 affiliate gangs, including the Yamaken-gumi and Takumi-gumi.

Over the weekend, law enforcement sources confirmed the formation of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, a rival gang to the Yamaguchi-gumi that will be headed by Kunio Inoue, the 67-year-old boss of the Yamaken-gumi.

The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi is expected to be based in Awaji City.