The Metropolitan Police Department has arrested twelve Japanese men at an apartment rented by a Ghanian diplomat for illegal baccarat gambling. The men were accused of running a gambling place in a unit at Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward.
35-year old Hiruki Yamanoi was among the 10 alleged bookmakers and 2 gamblers that were arrested in the apartment located at a building in the Dogenzaka entertainment district in Shubuya Ward. Investigators, who searched the apartment, seized two baccarat platforms and a list of suspected regular gamblers. The apartment was leased as the official residence of the former Ghanian ambassador in Septmeber 2012, which his successor took over in March 2013. Police have already invited the ambassador through the Foreign Ministry for questioning. All suspects admitted to the charges except for Yamanoi. One was even quoted as telling the investigators “I didn’t think I’d be arrested because it was a facility belonging to the Ghanian Embassy.”
Police believe that the ambassador leased the apartment for the illegal activities as his name is written on the door of the apartment. Further questioning showed one of the arrested alleged bookmakers deposit a monthly rent of 500,000 yen to an account under the name of the ambassador. It was also discovered that no one is allowed to enter the pad without the introduction of the regular gamblers first. Police believe that the operation began in October 2012, netting a profit of around 200 million yen. The incident is not the first time a diplomat has been involved in illegal gambling. A former Cote d’Ivoire envoy was accused in 2010 of renting out an apartment in Tokyo under his name for similar activities to earn profit.
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