TOKYO (TR) – Fukuoka and Oita prefectural police on Monday broke up a gang-linked prostitution ring that employed a 17-year-old runaway girl over a four-month period, reports Nikkei Shimbun (Jan. 7).
Officers raided the Nagoya headquarters of the Kodo-kai organized crime group, an affiliate of the Yamaguchi-gumi, and arrested Kengo Mizoguchi, 42, an executive officer of a company associated with the gang, and ten others for violating child welfare statutes regarding obscenity and the Anti-Prostitution Law. Arrest warrants were issued to four other suspects.
In November 2011, the girl, who had fled her home in Oita City, was furnished with an apartment in Fukuoka City’s Hakata Ward. The following month, she was sent to local hotels to meet men for between 15,000 and 20,000 yen per session.
Mizoguchi, the ring’s leader, is alleged to have received the majority of the revenue accumulated by the girl, who was forced to serve five customers per day, police said.
Prospective clients were recruited via submissions made by the other suspects on “encounter” matchmaking sites, whereby the 17-year-old runaway’s profile was described as a woman in search of enjo kosai (compensated dating) partners.
The ring is alleged to have prostituted 10 other women using similar methods.
In March 2012, the girl escaped from the apartment and notified police authorities.