The Horrifying Reality of the Reign of the Self Proclaimed “High King” Terror in the Philippines | FRIDAY DIGITAL

The Horrifying Reality of the Reign of the Self Proclaimed “High King” Terror in the Philippines

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Watanabe, the suspect at the time of his extradition from the Philippines.

In all eight of the heinous cases nationwide under investigation, the directing officers, who call themselves “Luffy” and “Kim,” were arrested.

On December 5, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Investigation Division 1 re-arrested four executives of a special fraud group, including Yuki Watanabe, 39, on suspicion of robbery and other crimes. Watanabe and the other suspects are believed to have been the instigators of eight black market robberies that took place in Kyoto, Chiba, and other prefectures.

“In October 2022, the four suspects conspired with multiple perpetrators to assault a woman in her 30s at a house in Inagi City, Tokyo, tying her up with adhesive tape and robbing her of approximately 35 million yen in cash. The four suspects, calling themselves ‘Luffy’ and ‘Kim,’ gave instructions to the perpetrators from the Philippines, where they were hiding out, via smartphone and other means,” said a reporter from the social media department of a national newspaper.

In an article distributed on January 30, “FRIDAY Digital” introduced the reality of the reign of terror in the Philippines by Watanabe and other suspects. We would like to reproduce the article and look back on the horrifying life in hiding.


The base of operations is an abandoned seven-story hotel.

“I am the High King.”

This is what Watanabe, a.k.a. “Luffy,” the man in charge of directing the black market robbers who were hiding out in the Philippines, used to call himself.

“The crime group was based in an abandoned seven-story hotel in Makati City, near Manila, and apparently gave instructions to the perpetrators in Japan and other countries. The abandoned hotel was uncovered in November 2019. Thirty-six Japanese inside were detained by Philippine immigration authorities. It seems that there were other locations, and the suspect Watanabe escaped detection.”

Watanabe was caught in May 2021. Already wanted for theft and other crimes, he was arrested for assaulting Filipino women and children.

In Japan, the number of victims of black market robberies is increasing. A series of robberies of tens of millions of yen worth of money and goods have occurred in eight prefectures across Japan since October 2022, including Ibaraki, Tochigi, Kanagawa, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi. In Komae City, Tokyo, a 90-year-old woman was assaulted all over her body and murdered in her home, and other vicious crimes have continued.

The instructions from Watanabe and the other suspects to the executioners are astonishing.

“The perpetrators applied for a “dark job” on the Internet to commit the crimes. The persons calling themselves ‘Luffy,’ ‘Mitsuhashi,’ and ‘Kim’ were giving the instructions. The police are now investigating the case because the smartphone of the perpetrators has an incoming call log from the Philippines with the country code “63”.”

“However, some of the perpetrators have told police that they met “Luffy” in Higashimurayama City, Tokyo. There is a possibility that there were more than one instructor who called himself “Luffy”. The instructor controlled the perpetrators with fear. They explained that it was okay to kill (residents) without hesitation. They asked the perpetrators to send images of their faces and identification documents such as driver’s licenses.”

“Once they sent the images, they received a message that said, “If you run away, you’ll be in terrible trouble. Since the perpetrators had even told the police about their family members, they could not simply leave, fearing that their relatives would be harmed. Many of the perpetrators were afraid that if they admitted their crimes to the police, they would be purged,” said a former police officer.

Beatings and stabbings with belts


The true face of Watanabe, who is believed to be the leader of the gang, is vicious.

“According to his trial record in the Philippines, he instructed the executives to beat the other members of the group with a belt if they made any mistakes. I have heard that some members were stabbed to death with broken beer bottles.”

Watanabe is in a detention facility in the Philippines (at the time of publication of this article). (At the time of publication of this article, Watanabe was in a detention facility in the Philippines.

“According to an interview with Kyodo News by Kim Jun-young, a Korean reportage writer who was in the camp from May to September 2019, they can do anything they want as long as they pay the staff.”

“While many people live half-naked in the extremely unsanitary camps crawling with cockroaches and rats, Watanabe is said to be in an air-conditioned “VIP room,” which costs 100,000 yen a month for electricity. He has easy access to a cell phone and computer, and even has his own private toilet. It seems that Watanabe lives a free and comfortable life with his money.”

“Luffy” and his friends terrorized the members of the fraud group and ordered them to commit multiple heinous crimes. The arrests in all eight cases under investigation are likely to reveal more of the horrifying truth.

  • Photographed by Shinji Hasuo

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