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Tokyo court gives gangster suspended sentence over baseball gambling

Masatake Miyake
Masatake Miyake

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo District Court handed suspended prison sentences to a member of Japan’s largest organized crime group and a person formerly connected to the same gang for taking bets on baseball games, reports TBS News (Dec. 26).

On Monday, the court gave Masatake Miyake, 43, a member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, a two-year prison term and former member Katsuyoshi Fukuoka, 36, a term of 18 months, with both sentences suspended for three years.

During the 2014 season, the defendants and one other former gang member received 1.27 million yen in commissions on bets placed by five persons on 22 Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and high school baseball games.

Miyake gave instructions in the taking of the wagers to Fukuoka, the court said. “It was a habitual crime whose scale was not small,” the court said.

The arrests of the defendants in September followed a scandal that included four former pitchers for the Yomiuri Giants.

The ring that included Miyake and Fukuoka was a part of larger operation. Satoshi Saito, a former restaurant manager, targeted Giants players for bets as a bookmaker through one of the pitchers, Shoki Kasahara. Saito then provide those wagers to Miyake and Fukuoka.

Each of the four players has been either suspended or banned by NPB.