A shocking incident has occurred in Tokyo’s upscale shopping district, Ginza, leaving Japan in disbelief.
In broad daylight, masked individuals swiftly smashed through display cases at a watch store, snatching over a hundred Rolexes, valued at $700,000. The entire act was caught on tape by astonished onlookers, who couldn’t believe their eyes. Some even thought that it was part of a stunt.
This brazen crime sent shockwaves through the city, known for its reputation as one of the safest places on Earth. For years, Japan has prided itself on being a haven of security, consistently ranking among the safest countries globally.
According to historical records, in 2002, there were 2.73 million cases in Japan, but the number declined to 568,148 in 2021 – a remarkable 21% of what it was just two decades ago. The nation’s diligent law enforcement agencies, paired with a strong emphasis on community policing, have played a vital role in maintaining public safety.
However, the country is seeing a change. Instances of crimes like the Ginza heist are rare in Japan, but it appears to be part of a disturbing trend called “Yami baito”. Essentially, it refers to dark part-time jobs that recruit individuals through popular social networking platforms commonly used by young people such as Twitter and Facebook. These illicit gigs are like shady secret societies, enticing desperate people to work for a quick cash through illegal activities. The job postings use enticing language like “high-income” and “quick cash” to attract potential individuals and they use encrypted chat apps like Telegram to band together complete strangers to execute these nefarious plans.
Surprisingly, the four teenage culprits claimed they did not know each other prior to the heist, and it turns out this isn’t an isolated incident. Similar robberies in the neighborhoods of Ueno and Shibuya were also targeted in broad daylight, leading to the apprehension of four Japanese men accused of masterminding a scam syndicate all the way from the Philippines. Their ringleader, known as “Luffy,” allegedly orchestrated more than 50 crimes, including a tragic murder of a 90-year-old lady.
Related story: Who is ‘Luffy’ behind string of robberies? PH gov’t still awaits Japanese confirmation
These criminals also happen to be already behind bars in the Philippines for other offenses when their coordinated crime spree was unveiled. Apparently, they used social media posts advertising these dark part-time jobs to recruit unsuspecting accomplices.
Although authorities managed to bring down the Luffy Syndicate, it seems this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the dark world of illicit part-time work in Japan. Statistics reveal a whopping 150% increase in Yami baito posts on Twitter, reaching nearly 3,500 in 2022 alone. This sudden rise in crime rates after a two-decade decline has triggered concerns nationwide.
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