Charging E-Money to the Elderly–1.9 Billion Yen Money Laundering Man “Despicable Details of the Crime”
Another fact has come to light: a large sum of money swindled by a special fraud group was laundered.
By October 11, the Metropolitan Police Department had arrested four suspects, including Daisuke Kobayashi, 28, the effective manager of IP phone rental company Cyber Human, on suspicion of violating the Organized Crime Punishment Law. Kobayashi and others are suspected of being involved in laundering electronic money that was defrauded by a special fraud group.
In November 2019, they are suspected of reselling about 2 million yen worth of electronic money they swindled from a woman in her 50s in Shizuoka Prefecture and having the money transferred to the account of a company with no actual business presence, and then concealing it. There are believed to be other crimes as well, and the total amount of damage is estimated to be as much as 1.9 billion yen. In addition, approximately 1,100 phone numbers provided to a special fraud group are believed to have been used in the crime, and that too is under investigation.
The special fraud group used phone calls and short messages to demand electronic money from victims, falsely claiming that they had unpaid bills on pay-per-use websites. Former Kanagawa Prefectural Police detective and crime journalist Taihei Ogawa explains the current state of special fraud.
Recently, it has become more difficult for special fraud groups to swindle people out of their money, as the public has become more aware of their crimes, in addition to stricter regulations and monitoring of bank accounts. There are so many scam phone calls because the list of names has been circulated, and there are even cases where people who were once cheated have received another phone call.
Against this backdrop, new schemes are emerging. When they are able to change what they are demanding, such as electronic money, the elderly in particular may be deceived. We should not exaggerate and consider any phone call that tells you to buy a product by paying for it now as a scam.
Is it possible to expose the original scam group? Mr. Ogawa continued.
Suspicious numbers are easily shared, so many phone lines are used for crimes. That is why they came up with the idea of IP phones, which are cheap and easy to resell if the need arises. As the special fraud group itself has not been caught, it is highly likely that they will find another collaborator and repeat similar crimes.
Since the laundered money is exchanged as cash or virtual currency, not bank transfers, it is extremely difficult to trace the money flow. Even if they manage to get to the main source of the money, in many cases they are using accounts in other people’s names that have been resold and are not directly connected to the criminal group. Therefore, it is nearly impossible to trace the money back to the source in this type of case.”
The police have not revealed the identities of the four men. Although the road to a full understanding of the case is difficult due to its growing complexity and sophistication, a thorough investigation is required in order to prevent new victims.
Photo： Shinji Hasuo