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In a bid to combat increasing crimes involving foreign underworld elements operating in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho, a special investigative squad was inaugurated Monday at the Metropolitan Police Department.

Led by former Koiwa Police Station chief Taiichi Kawasaki, the team of about 100 investigators will maintain its headquarters in the Kabukicho district. Kawasaki said the MPD decided to set up the special team based on a high rate of crimes committed by foreigners in Shinjuku, host to Japan’s biggest entertainment and red light zone.

He said his special task force will investigate the Snakehead gang, notorious for its human-smuggling operations, and other foreign criminal organizations.

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