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Yamaguchi-gumi, cops prepping for worst after split

Hyogo police enter the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi
Hyogo police enter the headquarters of the Yamaguchi-gumi

HYOGO (TR) – Last mont’s upheaval in Japan’s criminal underworld continues to cause ripple effects as both law enforcement and leaders of the Yamaguchi-gumi are preparing for possible violence.

Hyogo Prefectural Police on Friday raided the headquarters of the gang for vehicle violations, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 2).

At total of 62 investigators and riot police entered the gang’s main office, located in Kobe’s Nada Ward, in search of evidence to cases in which the gang has been accused of operating vehicles without proper inspections.

The raid is in preparation for a possible conflict between the Yamaguchi-gumi, which is Japan’s largest organized crime group, and the recently formed rival gang the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi.

On September 1, the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi chose to break up by excommunicating 13 affiliate gangs. The Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, which is comprised of 14 gangs, formed four days after the dissolution.

This is the first raid of the gang’s headquarters since the break up. Police have also raided the headquarters of the Yamaken-gumi, a key member of the Kobe Yamaguchi-gumi, and the Tsukasa Kogyo, an organization in Nagoya that is loyal to Shinobu Tsukasa, the current boss of the Yamaguchi-gumi.

The Yamaguchi-gumi has also been preparing for violence. According to Sankei Sports (Oct. 1), bodyguard protection for Tsukasa, who regularly travels between Kobe and Nagoya, has doubled since the split.

On Thursday, Aichi Prefectural Police arrested Naoya Arima, a 45-year-old bodyguard from a third-tier Yamaguchi-gumi gang, on fraud charges related to the issuance of credit cards.