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Shizuoka cops: Yamaguchi-gumi member took NPB playoff bets

Kenta Suzuki
Kenta Suzuki

SHIZUOKA (TR) – Amid a growing crackdown on sports gambling, Shizuoka Prefectural Police revealed on Thursday that a member of an affiliate gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi took bets on Nippon Professional Baseball playoff games, reports Nikkan Sports (Oct. 29).

Kenta Suzuki, a member of the Kokuryoyaikka, which is based in Hamamatsu City, is accused of taking 123 bets on Climax Series playoff games played between Chiba Lotte Marines and the Nippon Ham Fighters on October 10 and 11. The suspect also brokered bets on NPB games over the previous two months.

The bets were 10,000 yen each and placed via mobile phone. Police also arrested five customers from Hamamatsu on charges of illegal gambling.

The case is the latest activity by law enforcement following revelations earlier this month that three pitchers with the Yomiuri Giants placed wagers on games.

On Tuesday, Osaka police announced the arrest of the younger brother of Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish for brokering wagers on NPB and Major League Baseball games.

Last week, police arrested Jun Shinoda, an affiliate member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, for accepting bets on NPB games. Shinoda was also arrested in September on illegal gambling charges, including for taking wagers on World Cup soccer matches.

On Friday, police raided the headquarters of the Kokuryoyaikka as a part of its investigation. Police suspect that money collected from taking baseball wagers was used as a means of funding for the gang.