Police in Tokyo revealed today that they arrested a 30 year old man suspected of being responsible for sending a number of e-mails from remotely controlled computers threatening murder, along with sending media and law enforcement on wild chases for evidence. Yusuke Katayama, who lives in Tokyo’s Koto Ward, caused the wrong arrest of at least four innocent people between July and September of last year after their PC were hijacked.
Following his arrest on Sunday morning, TV broadcasters showed footage of a chubby in glasses being taken into a police station. Among the e-mails he sent include a threat to commit mass murder at a comic book event, as well as posting on public websites about attacking a kindergarten attended by the grandchildren of Emperor Akihito. Katayama’s actions led to a huge embarrassment for Japan’s National Police Agency, who were forced to admit obtaining “confessions” from four individuals across the country who had no idea their computers were compromised, and no connection to the suspect. Shortly after it was discovered the arrests were made in error, an anonymous e-mail was sent to a news broadcaster admitting to be the real one responsible, and that the purpose to reveal the police’s ineptitude and habit for attaining false confessions.
Katayama went silent for several weeks, but made a grand re-appearance in early January when he sent e-mails to newspapers and broadcasters offering evidence of the virus he used to control the computers and send the threats, but only if recipients could solve a number of riddles. Their chase famously led to hunting down a cat on the small tourist island of Enoshima, in Kanagawa Prefecture, in order to find a digital memory card attached to its collar. The card only contained a message that stated “a past experience in a criminal case,” for which he was innocent, forced him to make changes in his life and prompted him to act. While this message concluded that it would be the final communication from the hacker, police were able to track down Katayama from the security camera footage that showed him approaching the cat, as well as images of his motorbike. Police say that Katayama has a previous conviction from a case also involving threatening messages, and among the charges he faces this time include the forcible obstruction of law enforcement business.
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