‘Luffy’ Robbery Ring Suspect ‘Used Phone to Issue Instructions Possibly from Philippines Immigration Facility’

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Kiyoto Imamura

A person who was detained at the same Philippines immigration facility as Kiyoto Imamura, the suspected ringleader of a group that committed violent crimes across Japan, told police that Imamura had issued instructions via phone telling someone to “finish the job within three minutes,” according to an investigator.

The Metropolitan Police Department reportedly believes this information adds strength to the case that Imamura, 39, is “Luffy,” the suspected head of a Philippines-based robbery ring that recruited members via social media posts offering “dark” part-time jobs. The MPD rearrested Imamura Thursday on suspicion of robbery.

Imamura and others were detained by Philippine authorities in December 2019 in connection with a fraud operation and held at an immigration facility in Metro Manila prior to his deportation last February.

According to the investigator, the person told the MPD that Imamura had identified himself as Luffy while in the facility. The person also reportedly recalled Imamura mentioning the name of a store that was robbed in Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto City.

The person further testified that Imamura had told someone over the phone: “Finish the job within three minutes. When you rob the store, get out as soon as possible,” and “The item we want is in the display case in the middle of the store,” among other instructions.