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Yakuza members defraud Osaka firm in March 11 reconstruction scam

Yamaguchi-gumi member arrested for fraud following March 11 reconstruction
Satoru Sasaki

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday arrested three suspects, including two members of the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate, allegedly involved in a fraud scheme related to reconstruction following the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Feb. 6).

In April of 2011, one month after the Tohoku area was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami, Yamaguchi-gumi members Satoru Sasaki, 52, and Toshiyuki Fukai, 54, and one other suspect allegedly offered a business opportunity to the 52-year-old president of a construction company based in Osaka while posing as employees from a big-name contractor.

“We’ve got a demolition job in Miyagi Prefecture,” the suspects allegedly said while presenting business cards and a contract from the large contractor, which is listed on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. “In the hard-hit areas, there’s the smell of decomposing bodies which are scattered about, and local workers have fled.”

The suspects subsequently received 10 million yen from the president of the Osaka firm as a deposit during a meeting inside a coffee shop in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward. They have been charged with fraud.

All three suspects have reportedly denied the allegations.

The Osaka firm assembled 30 workers for the job. But when the work never commenced, the company alerted the police.