One Piece’s Yuki Watanabe, suspected mastermind behind a string of robberies in Japan

One Piece’s Yuki Watanabe, suspected mastermind behind a string of robberies in Japan

The immigration facility in Manila where Yuki Watanabe is being held is a suspected mastermind behind a string of robberies in Japan. After Philippine law enforcement authorities complete their own investigations into crimes they say he committed on their home turf, the alleged mastermind behind a string of violent robberies and a shocking murder in Japan is expected to be deported.

He appeared on the Japanese police radar after a series of arrests in Japan in connection with the robbery cases. The police analyzed the records of phones seized from the suspects and found that a person using the name Luffy provided instructions from the Philippines of locations to hit.

One puzzling aspect of the case is that he was being held at an immigration detention center when some of the crimes were committed.

Luffy is a character in the popular manga series One Piece. Police say Luffy coordinated with various criminal groups via a smartphone to carry out robberies in the Kanto region, including Tokyo, as well as in Osaka and Kyoto. He would list addresses of houses to rob.

The man was referred to as the Big Boss by the Philippine police. He turns out to be Yuki Watanabe.

The Tokyo police had obtained an arrest warrant for Watanabe in connection with past scams and had already issued a request to deport him to their Philippine counterparts. Philippine authorities are still looking into his involvement in other crimes committed in their nation, delaying the process.

The recent cases in Japan, including the brutal murder of a 90-year-old woman in Komae, western Tokyo, the Philippine authorities have apparently decided to hand Watanabe and three other Japanese men being held for past scams, to Japanese jurisdiction.

Local officials are trying to determine how Watanabe got his hands on a mobile while he was being held in an immigration detention facility. They made a point of saying he no longer has access to any communication devices.

Watanabe and the three other Japanese are believed to be the leaders of a gang involved in crimes committed in other nations.

In the year 2019 the Philippine police arrested 36 men on suspicion of involvement in the crime spree. While most of the gang members were deported to Japan, Watanabe and the three others managed to stay in the Philippines.

According to local law enforcement officials and media reports, Watanabe was arrested in 2021 on suspicion of involvement in internet scams and blackmail.

Interpol also expressed concern about Watanabe's involvement in robberies in various nations.

Watanabe was banned from leaving the Philippines and placed in the immigration facility in late 2021.