Organized crime

Yakuza may be blocked from using all expressways in Japan within the decade

One of many modern conveniences evaporating on organized crime.

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Yakuza bosses struggling to upgrade phones from 3G

Crime lords getting shaken down by telecom giants.

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Sip your coffee like a yakuza boss at Nagoya’s newly opened Ninkyo Cafe

The Ninkyo Café is furnished like a yakuza office and provides opportunities to participate in special events with the staff.

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High-ranking yakuza member shot on the street near his home in Yamaguchi Prefecture

Police unsure if man claiming responsibility is the actual gunman or just a fall guy.

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Member of yakuza arrested for having honest job, dishonest application

60-year-old man’s application paperwork lands him in trouble.

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Trick or Trafficking? Japanese mafia hand out candy to kids on Halloween, get away with it again

Gangsters from the yakuza group Yamaguchi-gumi were spotted with cute treat bags, surrounded by smiling children and furious adults.

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Japan’s biggest yakuza organization tweets to announce that Halloween is cancelled this year

Ah Halloween. After Christmas, it’s easily the best time of the year to be a kid. You get to dress up, scare people with your friends, and then best of all… go to your local organized crime branch to get a giant bag of candy.

Such has been the annual tradition on Halloween for children who visit the headquarters of the Japanese yakuza group Yamaguchi-gumi in Kobe. But this year, Halloween has had an “unfortunate accident” and been cancelled, meaning the mob will be handing out no candy.

Wait… what? Japanese mafia? Halloween candy? What do these things have in common? Read on to find out!

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A criminal organization’s activities vary depending on where they are in the world but all such groups use bribery, violence and fear to achieve their goals. The growing threat of gangs in Asia is partly due to their booming economies that attract criminals with the prospects of taking a cut of the wealth. Globalization is further helping these gangs to spread their activities, making it easier to smuggle everything from weapons and drugs to people and exotic animals across borders. Money laundering, counterfeiting and document forgery are even easier when a group has a presence in multiple countries. Sound like Armageddon? Read on.

In this article, we look at mob activity in Japan, China and Indonesia and the threats they pose to the public as well as to tourists. We also delve into what experts think the future holds for transnational gang activity. Just a warning: things ain’t lookin’ pretty.

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