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Kyoto cops: Yakuza was customer in ¥500 million gambling ring

The emblem of the Akira Rengo-kai
The emblem of the Akira Rengo-kai

KYOTO (TR) – Kyoto Prefectural Police have arrested an affiliate member of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group for placing wagers with a large baseball gambling ring, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 2).

Kenji Itodani, a 45-year-old member of the Akira Rengo-kai, allegedly bet a total of 1.65 million yen in multiple wagers on three games played between the Yakult Swallows and the Yomiuri Giants.

Itodani admits to the charges.

The matter came to light in June after police received an anonymous tip about illegal bets being brokered by Osamu Yamakawa, who is now under prosecution. During a search of Yamakawa’s residence following his arrest in September, betting information connected to Itodani were uncovered.

Yamakawa took the wagers by phone and collected the money in cash near his residence. The operation, which began in 2013, collected 500 million yen in revenue over the past year.