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Tokyo police crack down on site that allowed fraud groups to convert Amazon gift cards to cash

Yusuke Higashi
Yusuke Higashi (Fuji News Network)

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have cracked down on a web site that served in the defrauding of persons nationwide out of nearly 1.3 billion yen in a scam involving gift cards for online retailer, reports Fuji News Network (Oct. 27).

According to police, Yusuke Higashi, a 33-year-old resident of Mitaka City, established a company that operates a web site in which Amazon gift cards can be purchased. Daishi Moriya, 32, managed the site.

A bank account belonging to Higashi was found to have received 1.28 billion yen, funds that are believed to have come from about 70 victims nationwide over a two-year period, police said.

In February, a man in Aichi Prefecture, aged in his 60s, was swindled out of 1.2 million yen in gift cards from the retailer after he was falsely told by a member of a fraud group on the telephone that he was liable for fees from a pay-to-use site.

Higashi and Moriya have been accused of violating the Act on Punishment of Organized Crimes and Control of Crime Proceeds. They allegedly obtained the funds while knowing the source was a fraud group.

Higashi and Moriya have declined to comment on the allegations.