Japanese arrest leading mob figure

Dec. 1, 2010 at 3:29 PM

OSAKA, Japan, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- One of Japan's top gangsters was arrested Wednesday for giving money to relatives of a jailed associate, police in Osaka said.

Tadashi Irie is third in command of Japan's largest crime syndicate, the Kobe-based Yamaguchi-gumi, Kyodo News reports. His arrest means its top three leaders are in prison, although its boss is slated to be released from prison next year.

Irie is suspected of making the payments until this spring in defiance of an injunction issued in October 2008 under the anti-organized crime law. Yamaguchi-gumi leader Kenichi Shinoda was jailed in December 2005 for violating the gun control law, and its No. 2, Kiyoshi Takayama, was arrested last month on extortion counts.

Law enforcement has been cracking down on the mob before Shinoda's scheduled release next year.

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