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Yamaguchi-gumi member among 4 arrested for extortion of Yamagata restaurant

Yamaguchi-gumi member arrested for extortion of Yamagata restaurant
The suspects allegedly demanded cash contributions for summer and year-end festivals
TOKYO (TR) – A member of the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate was among four suspects taken into custody by the Yamagata prefectural police this month for attempted extortion of a restaurant, reports the Yamagata Shimbun (July 30).

Officers arrested 47-year-old gang member Kiyokazu Shinozaki, construction workers Manabu Inoue, 41, and Yuji Takahashi, 36, and Hiroyuki Ito, 44, who is unemployed, for threatening the 38-year-old manager of a restaurant in June.

The suspects are alleged to have demanded cash contributions to summer and year-end festivals. All four suspects have denied the allegations.

According to investigators, the extortion — termed mikajimeryo, or the collection of protection money — consisted of demands by phone and a personal visit by a 38-year-old male office worker to the restaurant. “I’ll smash this place up,” the office worker is alleged to have shouted.

The manager of the restaurant subsequently filed a report with police. The four arrests took place between July 18 and 29.