TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested 17 suspected members of a fraud ring that is believed to have funded organized crime, reports the Asahi Shimbun (May 30).
In December, five members of the ring, including Fumiya Akaza and Takuma Yoshida, both 27, worked together in conning an 80-year-old woman in Saitama Prefecture into handing over three bank cards and 7 million yen. An additional 2 million yen was taken from her accounts with the cards, according to police.
Prior to the incident, the woman was falsely told by someone posing as a staff member of the Financial Services Agency that her bank cards needed to be reissued.
Akaza has declined to comment on the allegations while Yoshida admits to the charges.
Earlier this week, police raided three locations in Tokyo and Saitama Prefecture that are connected to the ring. Officers arrested an additional 12 persons.
The ring is believed to have used similar means to swindle persons out of around 4 billion yen, police said, according to TBS News (May 30).
Police are now investigating whether the funds obtained from the victims was used to fund a criminal syndicate.