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Tokyo cops nab yakuza in nationwide ATM heist

Yamaguchi-gumi members Masahito Hirano (left) and Satsuki Iwatani
Yamaguchi-gumi members Masahito Hirano (left) and Satsuki Iwatani

TOKYO (TR) – An anti-organized crime division of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a pair of organized crime members in the quick-strike theft of nearly two billion yen from ATMs nationwide earlier this year, reports TBS News (Aug. 24).

Police arrested Satsuki Iwatani, a 37-year-old upper-level member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and fellow gangster Masahito Hirano, 32, for allegedly participating in the illegal withdrawal of 4.9 million yen from five ATMs at convenience stores in Adachi Ward and other areas on May 15.

The suspects are a part of a gang of thieves that used forged credit cards with data leaked from a bank in South Africa to steal approximately 1.86 billion yen from ATMs nationwide in 2.5 hours on that same day.

The gang targeted more than 1,400 ATMs in convenience stores in 17 administrative districts, including Tokyo and the prefectures of Kanagawa, Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka.

Prior to the crime, the suspects met with Tomoyuki Izumi, 34, who is currently under prosecution in the same case, at a restaurant in Shinjuku Ward to provide him with cards for the heist, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 25). Money withdrawn by Izumi was later passed to the suspects.