• Kyodo


The Osaka Detention House’s chief guard, under arrest on suspicion of taking bribes from a jailed gangster, may have taken as much as 1 million yen in cash and travel expenses, police officials said Wednesday.

Katsuhiko Kuwano, 37, allegedly received the bribes from Seiki Kin, 66, the boss of an underworld group affiliated with Japan’s largest crime syndicate, the Yamaguchi-gumi, and Katsuyuki Yasue, 42, a senior member of the group. The three were arrested late Saturday.

Due to the size of the bribes, police suspect Kuwano provided numerous favors to Kin while he was held at the detention house in July 2004, in addition to moving him to a cell without a surveillance camera.

The move was in line with the gangster’s wishes, apparently in connection with his efforts to communicate with people on the outside.

According to an investigation, Kuwano had Kin pay about 50,000 yen for trips the guard made with his family in summer 2004, received a used car for free from the gangster in October that year and got more than 100,000 yen in cash from him.

The car was registered under the name of Katsuko Hasegawa, 60, who lives with Kin, the officials said. The woman is wanted on suspicion of giving bribes.

Kin was arrested June 4, 2004, on suspicion of attempted extortion against a dentist in Osaka Prefecture.

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