It’s something you wouldn’t expect. A person or a group of people nicknames themselves, but in the last year, there has been a string of burglaries that took place in at least 14 Prefectures in Japan. It appears that they have gone with the name of the protagonist of the aspiring Pirate King and Straw Hat Captain, Luffy from Eiichiro Oda’s One Piece.
Police have already arrested several suspects in each of the separate cases. One of the robberies resulted in the death of a 90-year-old woman, Iyo Ōshio, from Komae, Tokyo.
According to previous reports, based on the communications data on the suspects’ mobile phones, the police believe that the robbers received their instructions from Luffy using the Telegram messenger app. The group members appeared to have been recruited through informal ad recruitment on Social Media.
The Telegram messenger app is often used to orchestrate robberies because of its highly anonymous nature. The suspect of a robbery of a recycle shop in Chiba prefecture on January 12th was also found to have the Telegram app on his mobile phone.
Although Luffy‘s mobile communication originates from the Philippines, the police have not determined whether Luffy is an individual or a group.
NHK reported on Sunday that Japan and the Phillippines will soon be in talks about the handover of four or five suspects, one of whom is believed to be the ringleader. Two of the suspects include Yuki Watanabe and Kiyoto Imamura, who were allegedly involved in a scam in 2019. The Suspects are currently being held in an immigration facility in greater Manila.
Authorities in the Philippines say that Imamura can be transferred to Japan immediately after filing the paperwork. However, they plan to hold Watanabe in custody over a separate criminal case in the Philippines.
Source: Anime News Network, NHK (1,2)
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