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Man arrested for stealing ?150 million in cash in condo sale scam

Police in Tokyo have arrested a 33-year-old man on suspicion of theft after he allegedly fabricated a false real estate contract and stole the 150 million yen payment intended for a condo from a prospective buyer.
According to police, Taiyu Hayashi, an Ibaraki Prefecture resident whose occupation is unknown, met with a 23-year-old Chinese man in the lobby of a Tokyo hotel on March 1, Sankei Shimbun reported. Hayashi had claimed to be a real estate agent and had found out from the Chinese man's mother that he was looking to buy an apartment.
The victim brought a suitcase containing 150 million yen in cash to finalize the bogus property contract. Claiming to have another business meeting lined up, Hayashi asked the victim to wait in the lobby. He took the bag, telling the man he would look after it because it was dangerous to carry that much cash. He then left, saying he would be back to finalize details of the transaction. Sensing something suspicious about the deal, the Chinese man contacted his family, who alerted the police.
Police said the victim’s mother was introduced to Hayashi several years ago through an acquaintance and that Hayashi had been asked to introduce the mother to real estate properties. 
When Hayashi first contracted the Chinese man, he lied about the sales price by claiming he could arrange for the sale of a condominium that normally costs 500 million yen for much less because prices had gone down due to COVID-19. 
Police said Hayashi has denied the allegation and quoted him as saying “I took the cash, but I did not steal it or cheat anyone.”


© Japan Today
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