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Tokyo bust group suspected in ¥50 million disaster-related fraud

Teruyuki Ishii
Teruyuki Ishii is suspected of fraudulently obtaining 50 million yen by posing a member of a group helping disaster victims (TV Asahi)

TOKYO (TR) – Police arrested the leader of a bogus charity group suspected of fraudulently obtaining some 50 million yen under the guise of helping disaster victims, reports NHK (Apr. 11).

Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested Teruyuki Ishii, 38, on suspicion of colluding with men, who have also been arrested and indicted, to pose as staffers of a volunteer group collecting donations for areas affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011.

In one case, the fraudsters allegedly robbed a woman in her 70s in Yamanashi Prefecture of some 5.8 million yen in cash and her bank card. In carrying out the ruse, the suspects asked for the victim to supply personal information to make a donation. The money was later fraudulently obtained after they claimed fees needed to be paid to resolve a problem related to the personal information that had come about.

Ishii, whose role was to phone victims, was pocketing some 50 percent of the fraudulently obtained money. The group operated out of a car and constantly moved around to avoid detection, police said.

Police investigating the case believe Ishii scammed around 20 victims of a total of 50 million yen since October 2016.