The world’s thinnest needle, African gold sand, and even a royal heron… Victims reveal the strange ways of the “odd heron.
I was asked to invest in the development of the world’s thinnest medical needle, and I have not received back the more than 100 million yen I gave him.
Mr. U., a businessman living in Osaka, says, “I was asked to invest in the development of the world’s thinnest medical needle.
In recent years, the number of fraud cases has increased rapidly. In particular, “special fraud,” as typified by furikome scams, has become more conspicuous. According to the National Police Agency, the total amount of actual damage from special fraud amounted to about 36.1 billion yen in 2010 alone.
However, such incidents are not limited to special fraud. You may be wondering, “Why do people fall for such scams? There are also many scams with unusual methods that make one shake one’s head and wonder, “Why am I being cheated? For example, a man who was asked to invest in a national project to build a network of post offices throughout the Philippines and was swindled out of more than 20 million yen made a complaint to this magazine in January of this year. The magazine reported how he deceived the other party with his skillful words. We followed up on these and other unusual frauds.
The World’s Thinnest Needle Scam
In the spring of 2004, a man in a suit appeared in front of Mr. U, who was waiting at a cafe on the first floor of the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel in Kita-shinchi, Osaka’s entertainment district. The man, who appeared to be a shrewd businessman, was a 40-something K. He was the manager of a self-proclaimed investment company with an office on Dogenzaka in Shibuya, Tokyo.
I brought you the sample.
K took out a plastic box from his bag and placed it carefully on the table. When he slowly opened the box, he found a thin metal rod on top of a sponge.
“Oh, is this it? ……
Yes, this is it. It is thinner than the Omron needle. If put to practical use in the future, it will be used in many medical fields around the world, such as immunization and artificial dialysis. Since we hold the international patent for the needle, we should be able to monopolize the global market.”
K continued, as Mr. U stared at the needle in the box.
But we need another 300 million yen to mass-produce the needles at our factory in China.
K added to Mr. U that if he invested the money, he would pay a monthly dividend of 20% from the company’s profits.
K also showed Mr. U a two-shot photo of a certain bureaucrat’s son as an advisor to the company, as well as his friendship with a big-name Liberal Democratic Party member and a famous Giants player, to make Mr. U trust him Mr. U invested over 100 million yen. However, he could not believe his ears when he received a report later from an acquaintance: “K has flown!
K has flown!”
Mr. U panicked and called K, but the phone was disconnected. The office was already empty.
I wanted to file a damage report, but I had neither a receipt nor a written contract with K. I had no proof that I had been cheated. I have no proof that I was cheated, so I have no choice but to cry myself to sleep.
He shrugged his shoulders.
Suspicious “Investment in African Gold Sand
Would you like to invest in a gold sand mining business?
Mr. T, a company owner in Kyoto, was approached with this story. Here are several photos.
He showed me photos of gold sand mining sites, piles of gold nuggets, and snapshots of workers, saying that they were proof of gold sand mining.
About seven years ago–. About seven years ago, about 10 investors gathered at a certain place in Kyoto City.
We invited people who had deals (investment stories) as guests and listened to their explanations on a regular basis,” said Mr. T. “One of the guests was a man named H, who had a lot of experience in the mining industry.
One of the guests was a man in his 40s named H. “H is a tax accountant in Saitama Prefecture.
I had heard that H was a tax accountant in Saitama Prefecture, and he first brought a story about smuggling gold bullion from the Republic of Congo to Japan via another country. It was a trick that was very popular in the underworld at that time.
Smuggling gold bullion was a surefire way to make a profit. H, who stressed this point, showed us a document written in English and said, “This is what I bought for 200 kg of gold.
This is the certificate for the purchase of 200 kg of gold.
One of the investors bought into H’s story, and Mr. T prepared 20 million yen to try it out. Then, H began to tell the following story.
A friend of mine owns a company that mines gold sand in Africa. You need a permit to mine gold sand, but the permit has already been granted, and if you invest in this company, it can pay out a yield of 13% to 18%. Aside from the gold, why don’t you invest in this business as well?”
I thought it sounded fishy, but one of the members who came to the meeting told me that he had invested in a gold sand mining business and had received dividends.
He said, “I was skeptical, but I also put up about 20 million yen, and in the first month I brought in 3.5 million in dividends in cash. I put that dividend in again and invested about 40 million yen in total. But after a few months, the dividends stopped. When I thought it was strange, no one could contact H anymore. H had even issued a ‘certificate of deposit’ to investors to make them trust him.
The H had appeared in front of Mr. T’s people only once, in March 2004, in the center of Osaka City. In March 2004, a man in his 30s was robbed of a bag containing 56 million yen in cash on a street in Minamisenba, Chuo-ku, Osaka. H later appeared as a witness in the trial because he was involved in this robbery, known as tataki. However, Mr. T has been unable to contact H, and his whereabouts are unknown. Naturally, Mr. T lamented, the money still has not been returned.
240 billion yen in time deposits?
For several years now, there has been a fishy story involving a mega-bank, which those in the know have dubbed
“A scam involving a 240 billion yen deposit with Mitsubishi.”
What exactly is going on?
There is a man in his 90s in Chiba Prefecture named N. He had deposited ¥240 billion with the former Mitsubishi Bank, but in recent years the bank has been in trouble because it claims that it never deposited such money with the bank.
Here are copies of the “Protective Deposit Certificate” and “Time Deposit Certificate. The certificates were addressed to N by the former Bank of Mitsubishi and bear the name of Hajime Yamada, who served as president of the bank from 1978 to 1986.
According to a person claiming to represent N, N was one of the seven people who managed politicians’ slush funds during Kakuei Tanaka’s working years, and claimed to have deposited some of the slush funds in his own account. It seems that he is collecting money by using these deeds and other means.
This story was said to have spread among reporters covering economic cases.
Creepy Accomplices in the Royal Family Scam
I am a descendant of royalty.
A Japanese man who claimed to be a descendant of royalty was arrested by the Fukui Prefectural Police in 1919.
The man claimed that he was going to establish the Kingdom of Brighton with the approval of the British government. He collected more than 3.2 billion yen in 17 years.
The author has documents obtained from a police official. The author has in his possession a document obtained from a police official, an internal document that was brought to the police authorities about 10 years ago.
The document was part of an investigation into the matter. “We received information that an employee of the Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office at the time was conspiring with the ringleaders to solicit investments, saying, ‘Japan is about to go bankrupt, so we should deposit money in the Kingdom of Brighton. This was part of the investigation data, and at the time, we were carefully investigating the internal investigation staff who were suspected of being involved in the fraud,” said a police official.
The year before last, the Nagoya High Court ruled in an appeal against the self-proclaimed descendant of the royal family, and the first instance sentence of four years and six months in prison was handed down.
Chairman who was deceived by M-funds
The “M-fund scam” involved secret funds of the General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers (GHQ). The victim of this scam, who was cheated out of a record 3.1 billion yen, was Kurodo Kaneo, chairman of the restaurant chain “Colowide,” which operates Gyukaku and other restaurants.
It was an outlandish setup in which a Japanese man using the alias “Mac Aoi” deceived the chairman into believing that he was a former sniper for the British intelligence agency MI6, but the chairman was completely fooled. What is amazing about this chairman is that he is still convinced that the M fund exists today, and he tells bizarre stories to the press such as, ‘The Imperial Hotel and the U.S. Embassy are connected by an underground passageway,'” said a journalist.
In March of this year, a man accused of fraud was sentenced to eight years in prison.
These strange stories of fraud may still be going on somewhere today.
From the May 26, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
Interview and text： Hironori Jinno
PHOTO： Shinsuke Sakai (COLOID)