25 Japanese Arrested in Cambodia-Based Fraud Case

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A man in a fraud group arrested in an airplane is escorted at Haneda Airport at around 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday.

Tokyo, Nov. 8 (Jiji Press)—Japanese police on Wednesday arrested 25 Japanese men on suspicion of fraud and attempted fraud for their alleged involvement in a Cambodia-based phone scam.

The suspects were arrested while being transported on a charter flight to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Wednesday night. About 60 police officers from Japan were on the flight.

The suspects, aged between 20 and 42, are believed to have played the role of making phone calls from Cambodia to potential fraud targets in Japan.

In September, Cambodian authorities captured them at an apartment in Phnom Penh after receiving information from the Japanese Embassy in the Cambodian capital. Many smartphones and personal computers were found in the apartment.

The police departments of nine prefectures including Saitama, north of Tokyo, are jointly investigating the case, which is believed to involve fraud losses totaling hundreds of millions of yen.

According to the arrest warrants, the suspects allegedly defrauded a woman in her 70s in the northern city of Sapporo of ¥450,000 in cash and ¥50,000 in electronic money between August and September by telling her that the money was needed to settle a trouble over admission to a nursing care facility.

In similar Cambodia-based fraud cases, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department arrested 19 people in April after they were extradited to Japan, and the Saga prefectural police department arrested two in August.