PH deports 2 crime ring members tagged in scams, violent robberies in Japan

The Bureau of Immigration (BI) deported on Tuesday, Feb. 7, two foreign crime ring members who are allegedly involved in violent robberies in Japan.

BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco identified them as Fujita Toshiya and Imamura Kiyoto, both 38 years old.

photo: Bureau of Immigration

The deportation was an offshoot of the Japanese government's request last month to deport a certain "Luffy" and three other Japanese believed to have orchestrated fraud scams and violent robberies against victims in their home country.

Fujita was apprehended by the BI Fugitive Search Unit at Barangay Anilao Proper in Mabini Batangas on Feb. 21 last year while Imamura was collared in December 2019 after attempting to depart at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3, via a Cebu Pacific flight bound for Macau.

Fujita was tagged by Japanese authorities as a senior member of an organized fraud group, phone scam. An arrest warrant reportedly issued against him in Tokyo.

Imamura, on the other hand, reportedly faces a warrant of arrest in his country for theft.

Both faced a local case in the Philippines which was subsequently dismissed.

"Both Fujita and Imamura have been tagged by the Japanese government as fugitives from justice, for having warrants issued against them," said Tansingco.

"The duo were deported for violation of terms and conditions of their visa for being a fugitive, as well as being a risk to public interest," he added.

Fujita Toshiya and Imamura Kiyoto, two suspected members of a crime ring tagged in scams and violent robberies in Japan, are escorted by Japanese police officials while boarding an airline at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on their way back to their country on February 7, 2023 as part of deportation procedures. (Juan Carlo de Vela)

Tansingco relayed said they have prepared maximum security to ensure smooth deportation of the high profile criminals, adding that the two have been deported on board a Japan Airlines to Tokyo.

Meanwhile, Tansingco said they are yet to ascertain the identity of the certain "Luffy", the alleged crime ring leader who is said to be detained at the BI's detention facility in Taguig.

“While the identity of 'Luffy' is not yet confirmed, we are working with the Department of Justice and the Japanese authorities to be able to expedite the deportation to give more clarity to this case,” said Tansingco.

He said Luffy and another key suspects remain in the BI’s facility in Bicutan pending the resolution of their local cases: "They will immediately deported once we receive confirmation that their cases has been resolved.

“The arrest and deportation of these fugitives is a huge win for the Philippine government, as we will not rest until these international criminals are sent back and banned from our country,” he added.