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Kabukicho building owner suspected of renting to illegal pachinko parlors

Kazuhiro Sato
Kazuhiro Sato is suspected of renting space to a number of illegal pachinko parlors in Kabukicho 

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the head of company that manages buildings in a red-light district in Shinjuku who is suspected of renting space to a number of illegal pachinko parlors, reports NHK (July 20).

Beginning in January of last year, Kazuhiro Sato, 70, allegedly collected about 650,000 yen in monthly rent from a pachinko parlor operating from inside the Dai-ni Wizard Seven Building, which is located in the Kabukicho district and operated by suspect’s company, while knowing that it was.

The money paid in rent was a portion of the proceeds from the operation of the parlor, which totaled 10 million yen, police said.

Police allege that Sato, who has been accused of violating an organized crime control law, knew the parlor was an illegal operation. “I rented space to a restaurant, not an illegal pachinko parlor,” the suspect was quoted by police in denying the allegations. “Therefore, the income is not criminal.”

Sato owns three buildings in Kabukicho. Since 2004, police have busted 10 illegal operations contained in buildings operated by the suspect.

Over the past four years, police have warned the suspect about his renting practices. Howvever, those warnings have gone unheeded, police said.