U.S. puts yakuza figures, companies on sanctions blacklist

The U.S. Treasury took aim Tuesday at Japan's largest yakuza organized crime syndicate, placing four senior officials of the Yamaguchi-Gumi on its sanctions blacklist as well as two companies tied to the gang.
"We are ramping up pressure on this dangerous Japanese crime syndicate and local gang leaders who profit from everything from sexual exploitation, to weapons smuggling, and extortion," said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
The two companies placed on the sanctions list were Yamaki KK, which owns the land under the Yamaguchi-gumi headquarters in Kobe, and Toyo Shinyo Jitsugyo KK, which manages the headquarters as well as other real estate used in the syndicate's diverse businesses.
The individuals hit with sanctions were Utao Morio, manager of the headquarters and former chief executive of Yamaki; Chikara Tsuda, current Yamaki CEO; Yasuo Takagi, chief executive of Toyo Shinyo Jitsugyo; and Katsuaki Mitsuyasu, the latter company's former chief.
The sanctions freeze any assets of those named that are under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit U.S. individuals and companies from dealing with them.
"By exposing this broad network of front companies and individuals supporting the Yamaguchi-gumi yakuza syndicate we intend to disrupt the global financial infrastructure of this illicit transnational criminal organization," said Mandelker in a statement.

© 2018 AFP
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