TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the manager of a hostess club in Ota Ward for allegedly paying protection money to a member of a criminal syndicate last year, reports Jiji Press (Feb. 18).
On October 25, Koichi Setagawa, the 53-year-old manager of New Club Aura, allegedly paid 100,000 yen to Kunitoshi Ishizawa, a 51-year-old upper-level member of the Inagawa-kai.
The payment is known as mikajimeryo, or “protection money.”
Both suspects admit to the allegations, the Omori Police Station said.
Police believe Setagawa paid about 10 million yen to Ishizawa over a four-year period.
A metropolitan ordinance enacted last October prohibits the payment of protection money to gangsters by management of restaurants, bars and other shops in the capital.
The arrest of Setagawa is the first of a person connected to a business for paying protection money to a gang group.
In a second case, police are planning to send the manager of another club to prosecutors for also paying protection money to Ishizawa.
During the investigation, Setagawa refused to provide police with evidence, such as sales records, out of fear that Ishizawa would be arrested.