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The Metropolitan Police Department suspects that a gang of Koreans may be responsible for the killing of a company president during a house robbery in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward early Tuesday, according to investigative sources.

Four men, who, according to earlier reports, spoke broken Japanese, broke into the home of Toshiyuki Ueno, 65, owner of a machinery company in Higashi Matsuyama, Saitama Prefecture, at around 4:55 a.m.

They tied up Ueno and his wife, Kiyomi, 64, and fled with 500,000 yen in cash and some jewels. Ueno later died from suffocation.

The MPD believes the same gang may also be behind a number of robberies targeting wealthy people in Tokyo in the last few years, pointing to the similarities between those robberies and the one that occurred Tuesday.

Police sources cited as an example a particular method of using neckties to tie up the victims. The MPD, however, has not revealed information about this group.

The sources cited three robberies in Tokyo over the past two years that investigators believe were committed by the group.

In December 2001, about five people broke into the house of a company executive in Adachi Ward, forced the people inside to open two safes and made off with about 100 million yen.

In November the same year, three or four men broke into the Setagaya house of a company executive, tied five family members up with neckties and stole about 600,000 yen.

Last September, three or four people broke into the Toshima Ward house of the head of a school-management organization and made off with about 7.5 million yen.

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