• Kyodo


Police were set to arrest a 37-year-old guard at the Osaka Detention House on suspicion of taking bribes from a gang boss, police sources said Saturday.

The guard is suspected of taking money from the 66-year-old boss of a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan’s largest crime organization, in July 2004 and receiving a car from him three months later.

In return, the guard is believed to have done favors for the gang boss while he was being held on a charge of blackmail, the sources said.

The guard reportedly changed the gangster’s cell in the detention house in line with a request in July 2004, the sources said.

The money, roughly 200,000 yen, was allegedly used by the guard, who is from Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, to take his family to Tokyo Disney Resort and to stay for four days at the Atami spa resort in Shizuoka Prefecture, the sources said.

The car he allegedly received had been used by a female friend of the gangster.

According to the Osaka Detention House, the guard reported to superiors Friday that he had purchased a car from someone who had been detained there.

When questioned about any other dealings with the detainee, the guard said that was the only case, according to the sources.

When police went to question the guard Saturday morning at his home, he drove away in the car.

He was found later in the day after he got into a traffic accident in Takarazuka about 2 km from his house.

The crime boss was arrested June 4 on suspicion of attempting to extort money from a dentist in Osaka Prefecture and was held at the detention house for a period last month until he made bail on July 29, they said.

He was arrested again earlier this month on a separate case in Osaka.

The police also plan to investigate the boss on suspicion of bribing the guard, they said.

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