For the first time in history, two Yakuza mob bosses were held liable for a crime committed by one of the members of his organization. Isao Seki, the current leader of the Sumiyoshi-kai, Japan’s second largest crime syndicate, and Hareaki Fukuda, his predecessor, were ordered on Thursday to pay over ¥6 million yen ($55,000) to two victims of a fraud.
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The victims – all elderly women – were called at their homes by people pretending to be their relatives. They were told to wire them money to help them with some issues, reminiscent of various online scams in which rich Nigerian princes or young men and ladies need some funds to help them with their problems.
Two of the women fell for the scam and paid a total of ¥5 million yen. The racket was set up and run by a member of an organization affiliated with the Sumiyoshi-kai clan. Two other men assisted him. According to the Japanese judge, the scheme benefitted from the Yakuza link and thus the two mob leaders are held accountable for the crimes of their underlings.
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It’s the first time this has happened and a result of Japan’s tougher anti-Yakuza laws aimed at weakening the formidable Mafia group.
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