TOYAMA (TR) – Toyama Prefectural Police have arrested four members of a criminal syndicate affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi for allegedly kidnapping a rival boss and severing one of his fingers, reports Nippon News Network (May 19).
On March 15, Koshin Odake, the 69-year-old boss of the Haga-gumi, and three other gangsters are alleged to have abducted the top boss of the Takada-gumi, whose headquarters at the time was in Toyama City. During the incident, the suspects allegedly beat the Takada-gumi boss and cut off one of his fingers.
All four of the suspects, who have been charged with assault, deny the charges.
In the world of organized crime, the finger-cutting custom — known as yubitsume — is a deep-rooted act to show responsibility for a transgression. In this case, the source of the conflict was a decision on the part of the Takada-gumi to defect from under the Yamaguchi-gumi to the rival Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi.
Prior to the abduction, the Takada-gumi office had been the target of a Molotov cocktail attack and a shooting.
Last week, Toyama police announced that representatives of the Takada-gumi had presented paperwork confirming the gang’s break up. On the same day of the announcement, a demolition crew could be seen using a backhoe to dismantle the gang’s head office.
At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, about 50 investigators with the Toyama police searched the headquarters of the Haga-gumi. Police also plan to search an affiliate office of the gang in Osaka.