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U.S. Treasury blacklists ex-yakuza boss Tadamasa Goto

Tadamasa Goto on the cover of his autobiography, 'Habakarinagara (While Hesitating),' released in 2010
Tadamasa Goto on the cover of his autobiography, ‘Habakarinagara (While Hesitating),’ which was released in 2010

TOKYO (TR) – The U.S. Department of the Treasury has blacklisted a former boss in the Yamaguchi-gumi due to participation in transnational underworld activities, the office said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that Tadamasa Goto, 73, maintains ties to yakuza organizations and participates in organized crime around the world. The move freezes all of Goto’s assets in the U.S. and prohibits persons from doing business with him.

“Today’s action denies Goto access to the U.S. financial system and demonstrates our resolve to aggressively combat transnational criminal organizations and their supporters,” said OFAC Acting Director John E. Smith in the statement.

After serving as a member of a number of gangs, the native of Tokyo founded the Goto-gumi in 1985. According to the U.S. Treasury, Goto subsequently established a number of front companies on behalf of the Yamaguchi-gumi prior to his excommunication and forced retirement in October of 2008. He now lives in Cambodia.

The Department maintains that Goto’s retirement and relocation have not diminished his criminal activities.

“Tadamasa Goto reportedly still associates with numerous gang-tainted companies that he utilizes to facilitate his legitimate and illicit business activities,” the statement said. “He continues to support the Yamaguchi-gumi and remnants of his semi-defunct Goto-gumi by laundering their funds between Japan and Cambodia.”

The statement added that Goto also supports the Kyushu-based Namikawa Mutsumi-kai, which was once known as the Kyushu Seido-kai.

The move is a part of the executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2011 in which the Department is to apply sanctions against participants and supporters of global criminal operations.