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Police: 'Yakuza' gangster tries to cash in on Fukushima disaster

TOKYO — A member of one of Japan's infamous "yakuza" organized crime syndicates has been arrested for illegally sending men to work at a construction company helping to clean-up the area around the tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant, police said Thursday.

Yoshinori Arai, 40, who allegedly belongs to the Sumiyoshikai crime group, was detained after he sent three workers to do decontamination work without proper permits in November, according to Yamagata police.

The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported the three men aged in their 50s were paid about $164 to $186 a day, mainly for cutting grass and other decontamination work.  A third of the pay went to Arai, according to the report.

Police said they were also investigating a similar case involving 10 other workers allegedly sent to the area in December.


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