SAPPORO – Police arrested a mobster Friday on suspicion of attempting to extort money from a Seiyu Ltd. supermarket outlet here during a refund campaign carried out in the wake of a meat-mislabeling scam.
Police alleged that Masao Mamyo, 56, head of a group affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest underworld syndicate, tried to cash in on the Seiyu refund campaign by demanding payment after claiming to have forced underworld elements not deserving of the refunds to leave the store.
The store had falsely labeled imported meat as being raised in Japan.
According to police, Mamyo tried to take advantage of people flocking to the Motomachi outlet, which was accepting claims for refunds without receipts. The refund operation began Sept. 27.
Mamyo is suspected of demanding money from the store between Sunday and Tuesday, police said.
Many people swarmed to the outlet after it halted its refund operations Sunday, leading to scuffles.