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‘Nigerian Mafia’ running wild in Kabukicho

Employees at a club in Kabukicho allegedly spiked a customer's drink before robbing him
Employees at a club in Kabukicho allegedly spiked a customer’s drink before robbing him

On Monday, Tokyo police announced the arrest of two Filipino hostesses working at club Little Cat, located in the red-light district of Kabukicho, for drugging male customers and then stealing money from their bank accounts. The manager of the club, a Nigerian national, had been previously arrested on the same charges in August.

According to evening tabloid Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 29), the case is not unusual as the “Nigerian Mafia” is continuing to make easy money in Kabukicho.

On August 23, a hostess at Little Cat allegedly spiked a vodka drink served to a 45-year-old male customer with a sleeping powder. His cash card was then stolen from his wallet and taken to a nearby convenience store ATM, where 680,000 yen was withdrawn.

Little Cat had been in operation for seven years, during which time investigators believe customers have been robbed of a total of 300 million yen.

According to police, 70 percent of the club’s revenue went to the Nigerian owner, who is known to have constructed a palatial home in Nigeria worth 150 million yen.

Nikkan Gendai finds the latter figure to be astronomical, but journalist Tomoyuki Ueno says that a separate Nigerian Mafia bar in Kabukicho made one billion yen over a six-year period. The writer believes that these crimes are committed repeatedly since the police are fearful of being labeled as racists by the Nigerian Embassy.

“Given that this could prove to be a diplomatic embarrassment, the crimes are largely overlooked,” says Ueno.

Marriage to a Japanese national is a key element to the crimes. The tabloid claims that African men prefer chubby women — for whom finding a partner in Japan can be difficult — and target that body type for marriage and the acquisition of a spousal visa.

After that, African men are able to engage in a “department store of crimes,” says freelance writer Taizo Ebina.

Brokering heroin sales with yakuza members, forcing Filipino women into prostitution, performing money laundering, committing car theft and arranging fake marriages are among the common illegal schemes, according to the writer.

“They have strong eyesight,” claims Ebina. “They are able to spot a plainclothes cop at 100 meters at night. Because of that they are never caught.”

Source: “Konsui baa no kuromaku mo Kabukicho wo bakko suru naijeria mafea no teguchi,” Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 29, page 5)