The “telegrams” were attempted to be reconstructed using “electronic forensics”… What are the police investigating now in the “Dark Bite Incident”? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The “telegrams” were attempted to be reconstructed using “electronic forensics”… What are the police investigating now in the “Dark Bite Incident”?

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE
Watanabe was deported from the Philippines (PHOTO: Shinji Hasuo)

The perpetrators of a series of robberies that occurred mainly in the Tokyo metropolitan area under the direction of persons calling themselves “Rufie” and others have been arrested one after another, and the Metropolitan Police Department is now conducting full-scale investigations. In one of these cases, the perpetrators of a robbery-homicide that occurred in Komae City, Tokyo, in January 2011, were indicted on March 16, 2011 for the crime of manslaughter. The statutory penalty for manslaughter by robbery is “death or life imprisonment,” so a severe sentence is expected if the perpetrators are found guilty in a criminal trial.

Meanwhile, Yuuki Watanabe (38), who is believed to have given the instructions, and four others have so far been arrested only on charges of theft related to the special fraud case. Because of the provisions for theft and fraud, such as “imprisonment for not more than 10 years,” if the instructor who calls himself Rufy cannot be identified and his involvement in the serial robbery case cannot be proven, a large gap in criminal responsibility will open up between the instructor and the perpetrator.

“The young men who were the perpetrators of the series of robberies who easily applied for black market jobs may not be aware of the statutory penalties for robbery-homicide and robbery-manslaughter.”

A lawyer who is familiar with criminal cases points out the penalty for a string of robberies and then explains as follows.

“Murder by robbery and manslaughter by robbery are serious crimes for which the only punishment is death or life imprisonment. If convicted, there is no fixed term sentence. The current maximum term of imprisonment is 30 years, so even if the defendant is sentenced to life imprisonment, he will be in prison for 30 years. Only after that will he be eligible for parole. There is a parole system in place, but it is unclear whether it will be granted.”

The crime of robbery-homicide applies when a person kills a victim with the intent to kill in order to take money or goods. The crime of robbery and manslaughter, which was the reason for the indictment in this case, is when a person breaks in and assaults the victim in an attempt to take money or goods, resulting in the victim’s death. However, compared to the crime of murder, which carries the death penalty, life imprisonment, or imprisonment for five years or more, the crime of robbery with intent to kill is considered more malicious and carries a much heavier sentence because of the disregard for life for the sake of money and goods.

Nagata is believed to have been involved in multiple cases (some photos have been doctored).

Since ’21, a series of robberies have occurred in nearly 60 cases in 14 prefectures across Japan, and more than 60 perpetrators have been arrested in various parts of the country. Among them, the January 2011 incident in which four men broke into a house in Komae City, Tokyo, and killed Kiyo Oshio, 90, after binding her hands and feet with cable ties, was widely reported because it was the first time a fatality was reported.

Rikuto Nagata, 21, a civil engineer, who was among the four arrested on suspicion of robbery and murder as the perpetrators of the crime, was also charged with robbery and manslaughter in a robbery in Nakano Ward, Tokyo, in which approximately 30 million yen was stolen. Therefore, “a very heavy judgment is likely to await him in court,” said the lawyer mentioned above.

It is known that the series of incidents were carried out under instructions from people calling themselves “Rufy” and “Kim. It is believed that the instructions were given by Watanabe, as well as Imamura Mato (38) and others, who were arrested after being transferred from the Philippines, but a senior police investigator noted, “The young men who carried out the crimes must not have known who ‘Luffy’ was.”

The instructions from Rufi to the executioners were given via “Telegram,” a highly anonymous smartphone communication application, but the instructions on the seized smartphone had been almost completely erased. At this stage, it is very difficult to charge Rufi with complicity with the perpetrators of the series of incidents, but attempts are being made to recover the contents of the instructions through a technique called digital forensics (electronic forensics).

A senior law enforcement official said , “It is very difficult, but if we can recover even fragments, it is not impossible to identify Ralphie among the four main suspects and hold him (criminally responsible) for the robberies as an accomplice.

As for Watanabe and others, as mentioned above, they have been repeatedly arrested and rearrested on charges of theft related to the special fraud, and it is expected that they will be rearrested again for further offenses in the special fraud. However, because theft and fraud are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, even if the arrests are repeated, the most serious sentence under the concurrent offenses is 15 years in prison.

Currently, the executioner may receive the death penalty, but the falloff in criminal responsibility is likely to be too great if the robbery of Rufi, who acted as an instructor as an accomplice, is not proven.

A senior investigator of another police authority who has been closely following the investigation of the serial robbery case emphasized, “Unless it is proven in some way that Rufi and the others who played the instructive role and treated the young men who executed the crime as disposable pawns were involved in the robbery and other crimes, public sentiment may not be satisfied with this.

He added, “If the use of anonymous communication apps such as Telegram prevents the directing officers from being held criminally liable, this type of incident will happen again. In order to deter similar incidents, it is necessary to clarify the full details of this case, identify Ralphie, and arrest him in a series of robberies. (Titles omitted in the text)

  • Interview and text by Masahiro Ojima Masahiro Ojima

    Nonfiction writer. After working for the Sankei Shimbun in the National Police Agency Press Club, Metropolitan Police Department Cap, Kanagawa Prefectural Police Cap, Judicial Press Club, and National Tax Agency Press Club, he went freelance. His most recent book is "The True Story of the Yamaguchigumi Split" (Bungeishunju).

  • PHOTO Shinji Hasuo

Photo Gallery2 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles