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Yakuza-related ring suspected in ¥550 million in thefts

Yoshiyuki Kawashima
Yoshiyuki Kawashima, of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, has been accused of stealing 21 million yen in valuables from a precious metals shop in Shizuoka Prefecture last year (TV Asahi)

SAITAMA (TR) – Saitama Prefectural Police have arrested a gang member as a part of an investigation into a ring that is believed to have carried out 500 million yen in thefts, reports TV Asahi (April 20).

In April of last year, Yoshiyuki Kawashima, a 37-year-old member of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, allegedly trespassed into a precious metals shop in Ito City, Shizuoka Prefecture and stole 208 items, including rings, valued at 21 million yen.

Kawashima, who has been accused of theft, denies the allegations.

Police have arrested 13 members of the ring, including other Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi gangsters. The ring is believed to have carried out a series of crimes in Tokyo and nine nearby prefectures in which the damage totals 550 million yen, according to Fuji News Network (July 20).

Yamaguchi-gumi spilt

The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi formed following the split of the Yamaguchi-gumi in 2015. The two gangs have since been engaged in a dispute.

Police suspect that the money obtained in the thefts was used to fund the gang following the splintering of the Yamaguchi-gumi.