• Kyodo

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Eight Japanese nationals and one Russian have been arrested on suspicion of trafficking in stolen Japanese cars police believe were smuggled to Russia, police said Tuesday.

The 40-year-old Russian, Igor Kovyazin, was arrested for buying a stolen luxury car for $4,500 (480,000 yen) from a 50-year-old Japanese woman on a wharf in Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture, on April 28, the police said.

The woman has already been convicted of trafficking in stolen property, they said.

The seven other suspects include a former member of an underworld syndicate, 54-year-old Fumio Ito, who was indicted on the same charge, they said.

They are suspected of helping transport the stolen car to the wharf for the deal, the police said.

Police searched a ship anchored at a port in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, in connection with the case, saying they believe Kovyazin was smuggling stolen Japanese cars to Russia.

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