TOKYO – The leader of Kudo-kai, Japan’s largest and most violent Yakuza group (crime syndicate), has been accused of tax evasion, Japanese police reported Tuesday.
The charge, yet to be admitted in court, was imposed on Satoru Nomura, 68, who was indicted last year for a murder, committed in 1998.
The police also arrested three other Kudo-kai members, considered close to Nomura, in the tax evasion case.
They are accused of concealing 227 million yen ($1.82 million), collected by the syndicate between 2010 and 2013 and evading taxes to the tune of 88 million yen (around $706,000).
This is the first instance of the Japanese police charging a Yakuza group for tax evasion and hiding of collected dues.
Members of the organized crime syndicate usually collect “protection money” from restaurants, pachinko parlors and drug dealers in their areas and pass on the corresponding quotas higher up the chain of command.
Kudo-kai’s collections were transferred to bank accounts of Nomura’s relatives and other members of the group and passed off as “personal income,” an official from the investigating team told Kyodo news agency.
Kudo-kai is considered one of Japan’s most feared groups in the owing to their involvement in shootings and other violent attacks on civilians.