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Yamaguchi-gumi member busted in JR commuter pass fraud

Toshikazu Hosoda
Toshikazu Hosoda
TOKYO (TR) – In an ongoing fraud case in Hyogo Prefecture involving West Japan Railway commuter passes, the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 21) reports that on Tuesday prefectural police arrested a high-ranking member of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group for allegedly participating in the scheme.

Officers from the anti-organized crime division arrested gang member Toshikazu Hosoda, 44, and his ex-wife Yuko Tokuoka, 43, for false application of marketable securities as related to JR commuter passes. Both suspects have denied the charges.

Tsuyoshi Urushima, 50, a former employee at Akashi Station, was arrested in May for allegedly leading a group of four that on multiple occasions falsely applied for JR commuter passes and subsequently redeemed the documents for cash. “Part of the money that was redeemed was passed to the suspect Hosoda,” Urushima is quoted as saying.

Daily Sports (Aug. 21) reports that up to a few hundred thousand yen was supplied to the gangster each month. Investigators are now attempting to determine if the money was being used as funding for the Yamaguchi-gumi.

On December 5 of last year, two six-month commuter passes worth 630,000 yen and extending between Himeji and Kyoto were fraudulently issued at Asagiri Station in the names of Hosoda and Tokuoka.

According to prefectural police, Hosoda and Urushima became acquainted at a restaurant in Akashi in 2006. Over five years and eight months, Urushima is alleged to have fraudulently converted 86 million yen worth of commuter passes into cash on 650 occasions.