Philippine Immigration Bureau deports members of 'Luffy' fraud gang
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Last Updated:27 March 2024

The Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) announced that two members of the 'Luffy' criminal group suspected of committing a series of criminal activities in Japan have been arrested in the Philippines and have been deported back to Japan.

Luffy fraud gang

Sugano Kazushi and Shimoeda Saito were deported on Tuesday morning on charges of being undesirable aliens and boarded a Japan Airlines flight to Tokyo, the immigration agency said.

The Japanese government has classified two people as fugitives who it said were fraudsters from a notorious crime syndicate that victimized their compatriots. In addition, the Tokyo Summary Court also issued an arrest warrant for two people for participating in a large-scale telecommunications fraud gang.

The two men have been hiding in the Philippines since 2019. After receiving official information from the Japanese government notifying them of their crimes in February 2023, the Philippines launched a manhunt for them and their accomplices.

On November 16, 2023, Shimoeda Saito was intercepted at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 while trying to escape the country on a Cebu Pacific Airlines flight to Nagoya, Japan. After learning he was about to be arrested, he resorted to shocking tactics, deliberately banging his head on an immigration counter and feigning pain.

Bureau of Immigration (BI) Director Norman Tansingco said: “Their deportation is a significant achievement in our efforts to disrupt criminal networks that victimize unsuspecting individuals. This successful deportation is a testament to the Philippines’ partnership and good relations with Japan. We will not allow our country to be used as a hideout for criminals and criminal syndicates.'


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