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Feds Say Japanese Crime Boss Tried to Traffic Nuclear Material

Takeshi Ebisawa and associates were arrested in 2022, have been awaiting trial

(Newser) - A leader of a Japan-based crime syndicate conspired to traffic uranium and plutonium from Myanmar in the belief that Iran would use it to make nuclear weapons, US prosecutors alleged Wednesday. Takeshi Ebisawa, 60, and his confederates showed samples of nuclear materials that had been transported from Myanmar to Thailand...

Japan Sentences Yakuza Mobster to Death

Sentence for Kudo-kai kingpin Nomura Satoru is the first of its kind

(Newser) - The head of one of Japan's most violent organized crime groups has been sentenced to death by hanging. Nomura Satoru, leader of a Yakuza crime syndicate based in the southern city of Fukuoka, was convicted of ordering four attacks, one of which killed the former chief of a fishing...

He Escaped Capture for Years. Then Facebook Saw His Tattoos

Shigeharu Shirai was arrested Wednesday in Thailand

(Newser) - A Japanese yakuza boss who's been a fugitive since allegedly committing a 2003 murder was done in by his extensive tattoos. The BBC reports Facebook photos of Shigeharu Shirai, variously reported as being 72 or 74, showed the frail and elderly man doing what frail and elderly men might...

Ready to Leave the Yakuza? She'll Get You a Fake Finger
Ready to Leave the Yakuza? She'll Get You a Fake Finger
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Ready to Leave the Yakuza? She'll Get You a Fake Finger

Yukako Fukushima has a most interesting job

(Newser) - You're ready to turn over a new leaf and leave a life of crime behind, but there's one giant obstacle. Or, one pinkie-sized one: You're missing part of a finger. The Guardian spotlights a most unusual prosthetics market that's seemingly been supplied by one woman for...

Japan's Crime Gangs Went Where, Exactly?

Police say yakuza membership is declining due to stricter laws

(Newser) - Japan's underworld crime syndicates, or yakuza, have apparently dwindled over the years, raising the question of where they've gone and why they dropped out of sight, the Daily Beast reports. Police say stricter laws have pressured yakuza members out of the business, by empowering financial institutions to punish...

Missing Olympus Billions Tied to Yakuza Crime Gangs

$4.9B unaccounted for at Japanese firm

(Newser) - To make a serious financial scandal much, much worse, simply quadruple the sums involved and add gangsters. Investigators probing the shady accounting at Japanese camera maker Olympus believe that in addition to the $1.4 billion the firm paid in merger fees to mask losses, some $4.9 billion is...

Say It Ain't So: Sumo's Fixed!
 Say It Ain't So: Sumo's Fixed! 

Say It Ain't So: Sumo's Fixed!

Wrestlers admit arranging matches in Japan

(Newser) - Three Sumo wrestlers have admitted fixing matches in Japan, and the scandal is only expected to grow, reports the Guardian . "It is certainly the national sport," said Prime Minister Naoto Kan. "If matches have been fixed, it is a serious betrayal of the people." Police found...

In Japan, Sun Sets on Yakuza Mob Scene

Japan's criminal gangs are losing their semi-legitimate status

(Newser) - The role of the yakuza in Japanese society has always been hard for Westerners to understand. Since the 1950s the mafia-like organization has been tolerated by government and the public, trusted to run gambling and prostitution rackets with a modicum of respect for social order. But as a tough economy...

Japanese Mob Boss Gave $100K to UCLA

Goto rewards hospital after controversial kidney transplant

(Newser) - Suspected Japanese mob boss Tadmasa Goto donated $100,000 to UCLA just months after getting a liver transplant there, the Los Angeles Times reports. Goto was treated in 2001, a year when 186 people died waiting for livers in the LA area alone. The school has confirmed Goto’s donation,...

4 Japanese Gangsters Get UCLA Liver Transplants

FBI helped one crime boss with his visa

(Newser) - Four Yakuza gangsters, including one of Japan's most powerful crime bosses, had liver transplants at UCLA Medical Center between 2000 and 2004, the Los Angeles Times reports. Organs were particularly scarce in those years, with over 100 people on the waiting list dying each year. There is no indication that...

Mobster Guns Down Nagasaki Mayor
Mobster Guns Down Nagasaki Mayor

Mobster Guns Down Nagasaki Mayor

Officials attribute slaying to grudge against city

(Newser) - The mayor of Nagasaki was murdered yesterday by a gangster affiliated with Japan's largest organized-crime syndicate. The assassin, who shot Iccho Ito twice in the back, reportedly was steamed that the city refused to pay for damages to his car after he drove it into a hole at a construction...

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