Ah, the old dirty-underwear-wrap con. She should have seen it coming.

The dirty underwear trade is an established business that traces back to — pssshh — at least the 80s I guess. However, it exists on the fringes of society not bound by laws and instead operates on a sort of code of honor between those who want to smell dirty underwear and those who are too lazy to do laundry.

Unfortunately, this makes it an easy target for con artists, flimflammers, charlatans, and yes, even mountebanks. Such is the case that happened in late August between a young woman in Minami Alps, Yamanashi Prefecture, and a scoundrel in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture.

The suspect and victim got acquainted with each other through Twitter, and in their DM exchanges the 19-year-old university student made a proposition to the woman in her 20s: “I want your underwear wrapped together with money. I will pay you twice the amount. If you send me 100,000 yen (US$925), I will send you back 200,000 yen ($1,850).”

To anyone who’s ever received an email from the Prince of Nigeria, an offer of “send me money first and I’ll send you more money later” is highly suspicious, but perhaps the victim let her guard down on the assumption that the guy was just being really pervy. She sent him the suggested amount of 100,000 yen wrapped in two pairs of underwear, either as a gesture of good customer service or because one pair wasn’t big enough to cover all that money.

However, she never received anything in return. Realizing that she had been duped, she reported it to the police who tracked the student down and made the arrest. He is said to have admitted to the charges of dirty-underwear fraud.

While it appears to be an open-and-shut case for the authorities, many are left wondering what the hell just happened here.

“What?! Forget the crime, I’m really curious how this whole deal was set up from the very beginning.”
“I don’t even know how to meet women on Twitter. This guy’s negotiating underwear transactions with them….”
“Whatever the case, 100,000 yen for anyone’s underwear is outrageous.”
“Wait, so he really didn’t want the underwear?”
“That seems like a kind of shady deal. I’m not sure the victim is entirely innocent either.”

Although I disagree that the victim has any blame in this case, the last comment is correct about the shady circumstances surrounding it. For far too long the dirty-panty trade has gone on underground, leaving innocent panty-sniffers and panty-soilers alike vulnerable to scams.

I think it’s high time we march on Tokyo and demand that Shinzo Abe’s government regulate this industry to provide a safe environment for the business to take place. As a thriving gig economy it has the potential to really revitalize the Japanese financial state and become the crowning achievement in the legacy of Abenomics.

Source: Sankei News, Hachima Kiko
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