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With Inagawa-kai, top three yakuza groups now on U.S. sanctions list

Kyodo

The United States on Wednesday put the Inagawa-kai, Japan’s third-largest yakuza group, and its two top bosses on a list of groups and individuals subject to financial sanctions for involvement in drug trafficking, money laundering, fraud and other crimes.

The addition means Japan’s top three crime syndicates are now covered by sanctions that can freeze their assets in the U.S. and prohibit business transactions that involve them or their leaders in the country, the Treasury Department said.

Under a presidential executive order issued in July 2011 to target transnational criminal groups, the Treasury put the Yamaguchi-gumi and Sumiyoshi-kai, the largest and second-largest yakuza groups, and their top leaders on the sanctions list last year.

The 70,000-strong yakuza is also involved in prostitution as well as trafficking in humans and guns.