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Yakuza boss among 7 gangsters not prosecuted for extortion

TOKYO (TR) – Prosecutors have announced the non-prosecution of seven gangsters, including the boss of a criminal syndicate, over the alleged extortion of businesses in Nerima Ward, reports Nippon News Network (Mar. 31).

Between February, 2016 and June of last year, Masatoshi Yonamine, the 44-year-old boss of a gang affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai, and the six other gangsters allegedly collected 620,000 yen in mikajimeryo — or “protection money” — from three bars.

In carrying out the crime, one of the suspects told management of the businesses that they were operating in a territory controlled by the Yohei-ikka, an affiliate gang of the Sumiyoshi-kai. The suspects then demanded 20,000 yen each month as “a relationship fee.”

Masatoshi Yonamine
Masatoshi Yonamine of the Sumiyoshi-kai (Twitter)

At some point before Tuesday, prosecutors announced the non-prosecution of the suspects. No reason for the non-prosecutions was given. However, informed sources believe it was due to lack of evidence.

All seven of the suspects denied the allegations upon their arrests last July. “No threats were made to collect money,” Yonamine was quoted by police.

Since 2011, the suspects are believed to have collected a total of 2.5 million yen from the same businesses.

Police suspected that the gang members carried out the same crime with other businesses in the area.