Pay me! Pay me! I’m a clear-cut biller!”
A female manager of a restaurant yelled at a male office worker who was a customer. The woman pulled the man by the arm and went to a nearby convenience store, where she tried to get him to withdraw an exorbitant amount of money from an ATM.
By June 14, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Security Division arrested Hitomi Takano, 53, the owner of “pub smile” in Shimbashi, Tokyo, on suspicion of violating the Tokyo Metropolitan Anti-Bargaining Ordinance. The suspect, Hitomi Takano, denies the crime, saying, “I did not do anything like that.
The incident that led to his arrest occurred on January 28 of this year. A male customer in his 50s, accompanied by a tout, came to Takano’s pub. After drinking about five drinks in four hours starting after 2:00 a.m., he was charged a hefty fee of 370,000 yen.
When the man refused to pay, Takano became furious. When the man refused to pay, Takano became furious and yelled at him, “Pay up! A police officer happened to be standing by while the two were struggling in front of an ATM, and the man was able to avoid paying the hefty bill.
The police officer happened to stop the man in front of the ATM and saved him from paying the hefty bill.
In Shimbashi, there has been an increase in rip-offs targeting mainly male office workers. According to the Metropolitan Police Department, there were about 30 cases in 2009, but the number jumped to 170 in 2010. This year, the number of cases has increased to about 70, up 40 cases from the previous year through April. The total amount of damage this year alone amounted to 39 million yen.
The cases of rip-offs are reportedly occurring in many downtown areas. In Kabukicho, Shinjuku, more than 10 men and women, including bar employees, have been arrested. Female employees used a matching app to solicit men to meet them at JR Shinjuku Station and other locations, concealing the fact that they were employees, and inviting them to the bar where they worked, saying, “There’s a restaurant I want to go to.
“I have a restaurant I want to go to. The bar would invite customers to participate in a card game, explaining that ‘for 5,000 yen you can drink as much as you want. The female employees would invite the customers to get drunk by saying, ‘If you lose, let’s take off our clothes for a round of shots. Some customers were forced to drink nearly 100 shots in one gulp.
The cost of a shot was over 3,000 yen per drink. Some customers were asked to pay more than 300,000 yen. The employees surrounded the drunken customers and threatened them, saying, “Go to the convenience store and get the money. Go to the convenience store and withdraw the money! We won’t let you leave until you pay us! They would threaten the drunken customers, saying, “We won’t let you leave until you pay us! If they still didn’t have enough cash, they would go to jewelry stores and take jewelry that the customers had purchased with their credit cards. The same applies to the women and touts.
Easily taking advantage of the sweet words of women and touts can lead to big trouble. It is important not to lose one’s sober judgment even when intoxicated.
PHOTO： Shinji Hasuo