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Tokyo cops nab yakuza in Yomiuri betting scandal

Masatake Miyake
Masatake Miyake

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a member of Japan’s largest organized crime group and two other persons formerly connected to the same gang for allegedly taking bets on baseball games in a scandal that has implicated former pitchers for the Yomiuri Giants, reports TV Asahi (Sept. 24).

During the 2014 season, Masatake Miyake, 42, a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and former members Yoshimasa Sakai and Katsuyoshi Fukuoka, both 36, are alleged to have received commissions on bets placed on Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and high school baseball games.

The suspects allegedly collected a total of 1.4 million yen in bets placed on 25 games from seven persons.

Miyake has partially denied the charges, claiming that he did not act alone. The other two suspects admit to the allegations.

The arrests follow a scandal that emerged last year and includes four former Giants pitchers. Shoki Kasahara, 25, who was arrested earlier this year, has admitted to facilitating gambling by taking bets from Ryuya Matsumoto, 23, and 27-year-old Kyosuke Takagi.

Satoshi Saito, 38, a former restaurant manager also in custody, targeted the Giants players for bets as a bookmaker through Kasahara on behalf of the Yamaguchi-gumi.

Last November, NPB suspended Kasahara for an indefinite period after evidence of his gambling emerged. The month before, Satoshi Fukuda and Matsumoto were released and suspended for placing wagers on games. Takagi received a one-year ban by NPB in March.