Otaku USA Magazine
Member of Second Biggest Yakuza Group Arrested for Stealing Pokémon Cards

pokémon cards

There’s a news story coming out of Japan about a member of the yakuza (the Japanese mafia) getting caught for an alleged crime that doesn’t exactly live up to the yakuza’s image of badass criminals: he’s accused of being a Pokémon card thief.

And the amount stolen wasn’t even that much. Police say that Keita Saito, a 39-year-old officer in the Sumiyoshi-kai (the second biggest crime group in the whole county), was involved with a 2022 office break-in that filched 29 items worth about 252,000 yen (approximately $1,625). 25 of the 29 items were Pokémon cards.

Saito has admitted his involvement.

Saito isn’t the only person in trouble over the theft. Police arrested an individual named Hidefumi Kuboshita, accusing him of planning the crime. Kuboshita says he’s innocent, and it’s not known if he has any connections with the yakuza. Two more people, whose names have not been made public, are also of interest to the police.

Pokémon cards are popular around the world, with some of them worth a lot of money (a lot more than $1,625, certainly). Unfortunately, this has also led to multiple crimes involving Pokémon cards, and it appears some members of the yakuza might be in on it as well.

SoraNews24 translated some of the online responses in Japan to the news story:

“Are they sure he’s a member of the yakuza, and not Team Rocket?”
“Instead of catching ’em all, he got caught.”
“This feels like a school bully going around and stealing other kids’ Tamagotchis.”
“If you take into account that the yakuza have connections to game stalls at festivals where they scam kids out of their allowance money, it’s not so surprising to see them doing this too.”
“So does that mean there’s someone in the yakuza whose job is to appraise Pokémon cards?”

Source: SoraNews24


Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.