TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday raided the office of a criminal syndicate in Itabashi Ward as a part of a fraud investigation, reports TBS News (Mar. 3).
At just past 10:00 a.m., officers entered the office of the Kohei-ikka in search of evidence in a type of fraud known as tokushu sagi, whereby a victim is targeted over the telephone.
Police had previously arrested Akihisa Kaneko, 26, Yosuke Aoki, 33, Satoru Ishikawa, 32, all members of the Kohei-ikka, which is an affiliate gang of the Sumiyoshi-kai, and six other persons. The suspects are believed to have participated in two fraud rings.
According to police, Aoki, Ishikawa and one other suspect swindled a 74-year-old woman from Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture out of 1.74 million yen in January of last year, the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 2) reported.
In carrying out the ruse, one suspect falsely told the victim over the telephone that she was eligible for a “refund for medical expenses.” Another suspect then collected two bank cards from her that were used to withdraw the funds from an ATM, police said.
Ishikawa denies the allegations, police said.
The other six suspects allegedly swindled a total of 9.5 million yen from a 73-year-old woman in Yoshikawa City, Saitama Prefecture in January, 2018.
In that case, one suspect posed as the grandchild of the woman on the telephone. During the conversation, the caller said they needed funds to cover “work-related expenditures that could result in termination.”
Police suspect that the swindled funds were used as a funding source for the Kohei-ikka.