Philippines to send robbery suspects to Japan on Tuesday, Feb. 7

Kyodo News

Posted at Feb 06 2023 10:09 AM

TOKYO — The Philippines is expected to repatriate at least 2 of the 4 Japanese detainees believed to be involved in a string of robberies across Japan as early as Tuesday, investigative sources said Sunday.

The remaining 2, including Yuki Watanabe, 38, considered a leader in a fraud group, could also be sent to Japan at the same time depending on their criminal trials slated for Monday, the sources said. The criminal lawsuits they are facing are unrelated to the robberies in Japan and have hampered the deportation process.

Japan has sought the transfer of all 4 Japanese suspects after police obtained arrest warrants on suspicion of theft in connection with a scam targeting elderly people in the country.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department will dispatch around 15 investigators to the Philippines as early as Monday, the sources said.

The 3 other suspects are Kiyoto Imamura, 38, Toshiya Fujita, 38, and Tomonobu Kojima, 45. Imamura and Fujita are now ready to be deported after being cleared of local charges.

Justice Department spokesman Mico Clavano said Friday that government agencies will meet Monday to decide on the deportation day.

The 4 suspects likely include among them the person -- or persons -- thought to have masterminded several robberies in Japan under the pseudonyms "Luffy" and "Kim" since last year.

They have also allegedly stole about more than 6 billion yen (around P2.4 billion) in scams, targeting elderly people in Japan, according to police.

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