Yakuza mobsters looking for money need to find a loan shark with good rates, because Japanese banks will reject many of them when they apply for loans. As of yesterday, the Japanese Bankers Association stated that its branches will be able to screen individual loan seekers using the National Police Agency’s database of members of organized crime.
Organized crime in Japan is dominated by the Yakuza, the country’s homegrown Mafia, which is involved in all the mob-staples such as extortion, gambling, drug trafficking, prostitution, and, of course, loansharking.
In recent years, authorities have cracked down on Yakuza activities by introducing tougher laws and placing gangsters under increased police scrutiny. This has caused a major blow to the group’s influence and resulted in a declining membership and a split within its largest and most powerful clan, the Yamaguchi-gumi, which is now divided and involved in an internecine gang war.
The added screening measures follow a huge 2013 banking scandal involving the Mizuho Bank, one of Japan’s biggest financial institutions, which was found to have made 230 transactions with individuals with connections to the Yakuza. The total amount of loans came down to 200 million yen.
With this new screening banks can connect to the police database through the government-affiliated Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan. If the person comes up in the database, the local police department will be asked to conduct further identification. If they confirm the person is an associate or member of the Yakuza, the bank can reject the loan.
That will leave these gangsters with no other option than to take to the streets and find a friend to offer them a loan. Such a loan, however, will be difficult to use to pay for a house. Of course, in money laundering 101 there are plenty of ways around such financial blockades. Just ask any CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
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