‘Luffy’ Group Suspected of Robbery, Attempted Murder in Hiroshima

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Hiroshima prefectural police headquarters in Hiroshima City

Four men who were arrested over robberies in Tokyo are also suspected of involvement in a robbery and attempted murder in Hiroshima, according to investigative sources.

The Metropolitan Police Department and Hiroshima prefectural police are investigating these cases on the suspicion that different perpetrators committed the crimes at the instruction of a person or persons using the name “Luffy.”

The robbery and attempted murder in Nishi Ward, Hiroshima, occurred on the evening of Dec. 21, 2022. Several men broke into a house that doubles as a jewelry store and took away ¥2.5 million in cash and 90 items worth ¥21.67 million, including a luxury wristwatch.

The 49-year-old owner of the store was struck on the head and remains in critical condition with acute subdural hematoma.

According to the sources, security cameras around the crime scene showed four men, including Sho Kurihara, 27, of Asaka, Saitama Prefecture, who was arrested Friday on suspicion of charges such as robbery and attempted murder.

The cameras also captured four others who resemble people arrested over two Tokyo robberies resulting in injuries that occurred in Inagi in October and Nakano Ward in December.

Regarding the two cases in Tokyo, the MPD has so far arrested 12 men ranging in age from 21 to 37. Among this group, the men believed to have driven rental cars and sold the stolen goods are suspected of involvement in the robbery and attempted murder in Hiroshima, the sources said.

The prefectural police believe eight men gathered in Hiroshima after traveling by Shinkansen and rented several cars near JR Hiroshima Station.

In the two cases in Tokyo, a person or persons calling themselves “Luffy” or “Kim” sent messages to smartphones of the perpetrators, instructing them to commit robberies. The MPD intends to look into their connection to men who have been detained in the Philippines.