FUKUOKA (TR) – Fukuoka Prefectural Police have apprehended three men at an airport terminal who are now being questioned over the robbery of 384 million yen from a man outside a bank branch in a business district of Fukuoka City on Thursday, reports TBS News (Apr. 21).
At around 6:00 p.m., police apprehended the men, including a South Korean national, at the international terminal of Fukuoka Airport after an X-ray machine revealed large quantities of cash in their possession.
The robbery took place about six hours before. Two persons sprayed the victim, a 29-year-old male company employee from Tokyo’s Adachi Ward, with tear gas in a parking lot in front of a branch of Mizuho Bank located in the Tenjin area of Chuo Ward before snatching 384 million yen in cash.
The suspects then fled the scene in a white van, which was driven by a third person. The Chuo Police Station subsequently established a 155-officer team to track down the whereabouts of the three persons.
Just before the incident, the victim exited the bank branch carrying a suitcase with the cash inside. According to the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 20), he had intended to make a transaction involving precious metals prior to being attacked.
Police suspect that the three men in custody were attempting to leave the country via the airport. Complicating the investigation for police is the fact that the amount of money in their possession differs from the total stolen in the robbery. As well, their appearances contradict those of witness accounts at the crime scene.
According to police, the theft is the fourth-largest in the history of Japan since the end of World War II.