Yakuza boss arrested at Manhattan steakhouse for allegedly making rockets for heroes
According to a figure 6 claims were unsealed Thursday in Manhattan federal court.
But what Takeshi Ebisawa, a 57-year-old Yakuza leader and alleged boss of the operation, fails to realize is that the middleman he is relying on to facilitate the transactions is actually an agent. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) secrecy, filing disclosure.
After nearly three years of secret meetings in Bangkok, Copenhagen, Bali and elsewhere, the alliances finally lured Ebisawa to Morton’s Steakhouse in Manhattan for dinner on Monday, where he was arrested along with two accused accomplices. his obligation, a source familiar with the matter said. case told The Daily Beast. A fourth alleged accomplice was arrested in Manhattan the next day.
According to the Ministry of Justice, the Yakuza controls Japan’s gambling, prostitution, drugs, loan sharking, gun smuggling and extortion racket. They were also involved in the nation’s entertainment and construction industries, adhering to medieval samurai rules of “blood, honor and obedience”. A historical analysis by the DOJ explains that the organization’s “war nationalism… affects the economy and politics of Japan to the highest degree”. It said the Yakuza was active in US cities including Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Las Vegas.
Ebisawa, who referred to weapons as “bamboo” and drugs as “cake” and “ice cream”, in conversations monitored by federal agents, now faces a range of charges including conspiracy to import drug trafficking, conspiracy to possess machine guns and destructive devices, conspiracy to launder money, and conspiracy to acquire, transfer and possess anti-aircraft missiles. He appeared in court the day after his arrest, and was ordered into custody by Judge Jennifer Willis.
The DEA began investigating Ebisawa in 2019, the lawsuit states. That June, a DEA paid informant, who had served time with a marijuana conviction, met with Ebisawa in Tokyo to discuss a business opportunity. During the conversation, which federal agents are monitoring, Ebisawa told the unidentified informant that “an insurgent group in Myanmar,” which investigators believe is the United Bang Wa Army , “fighting against the government… and looking for weapons”. it explains. “Ebisawa also told [the informant] that the rebel group has produced and can provide [the informant] with lots of methamphetamine and heroin like [the informant] necessary. ”
After the informant introduced Ebisawa to an undercover DEA agent who was posing as a drug and weapons dealer, the lawsuit continued. In September 2019, the three met in Bangkok, followed by a meeting in Bali two months later, “to discuss potential drug and arms deals.”
During the meetings, which the lawsuit says were conducted mainly in English, Ebisawa allegedly offered to mediate between undercover agents and the U.S. Army Wa.
“Ebisawa used ‘bamboo’ as a code word to refer to a weapon during the negotiations,” the complaint states. “Ebisawa explained that [he] at that time were looking for guns, explosives and other weapons to supply to ‘Bang Wa’ fighting with Myanmar government and ‘Khmer Tiger’ fighting with Sri Lankan government. Ebisawa also advises [the undercover agent] that [he] can supply methamphetamine manufactured by Bang Wa for [the undercover agent]. ”
In exchange, the undercover agent told Ebisawa, who said he did business with a marijuana distributor in Florida, that he could supply any weapon he needed, according to the lawsuit. Then they started talking about numbers, looking at pricing and logistics, as well as quality control protocols.
In February 2020, Ebisawa told DEA informants that a Thai yakuza boss known as “Sampo” had received large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine from the US Army, available for purchase in Phuket. The informant told Ebisawa that he and his agent secretly wanted to purchase a sample for testing in the New York market, the lawsuit says.
They met the following month, and Sampo offered the couple samples of heroin and methamphetamine weighing 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). If customers like the product, then they will “discuss a larger business deal,” the undercover agent said.
Several months passed, with delays due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. In June 2021, a second paid DEA informant met with Sampo at a hotel in Bangkok. There, Sampo delivered a sample of his meth, which was subsequently tested for 98% pure. In September, Sampo met the informant in the hotel garage, where he delivered 1.4 kilograms of heroin. If it sold well in New York, Sampo offered to ship 1,000 kilograms to the city for a fee of $200,000, according to the lawsuit.
In a later conversation on Signal, Sampo told the DEA’s undercover agent that the “top man” in the US Army Wa needed weapons for the “mountain wilderness” and that “the staff from him also so,” the lawsuit said, explaining that the code was for “drug protection and also against the Burmese government.”
About a year earlier, Ebisawa told the Secret Service that an official from the Sri Lankan guerrilla group, the Tamil Tigers, wanted to buy “bamboo”. Thus, Ebisawa means “weapons, including SAMs, missiles, machine guns, and automatic weapons.” Ebisawa agrees to meet a secret agent in Copenhagen, Denmark to see the goods.
On February 3, 2021, Ebisawa and an associate met the DEA undercover agent, along with two undercover agents from the Danish National Police, at a warehouse in Copenhagen. The undercover police showed them “a range of weapons from the United States Army…including three portable M72 light anti-tank missile weapons, ten M60 7.62 machine guns, and ten fully automatic 5 rifles, 56 Colt Canada C8,” according to the complaint. “Also, undercover agents showed Ebisawa and [his associate] photos and videos of 400 US Army surface-to-air Stinger missiles purportedly stored in a nearby bunker. “
After the rendezvous, Ebisawa contacted the DEA’s secret agent on WhatsApp and said he was going to Sri Lanka to discuss the deal with his buyer. He also said the political situation in Myanmar “is deteriorating and the US Army is interested in purchasing large quantities of weapons.”
In May 2021, Ebisawa sent the undercover agent a shopping list of things he needed for a “rebel general” in Myanmar.
The two then carried out the necessary logistics related to the shipment of weapons to northern Myanmar. Ebisawa told the undercover agent that the buyers would build a runway that could receive a cargo plane and provide coordinates. According to the lawsuit, a Thai Air Force general and a retired Thai army officer will be present to assist in coordinating deliveries. At first, one of them accidentally included his last name on his WhatsApp profile, then deleted it for operational security, the complaint states. But by then it was too late.
From there, business continued to boom. Ebisawa brokered deals with the Shan State Army in Myanmar, and a third rebel group, the Karen National Union (KNU), expressed interest last August in purchasing the weapons’ worth. 40 million USD.
In a later conference meeting, one of the Thai military officers said that his client “prefers US-made weapons” but would be open to alternatives if needed. The undercover agent told Ebisawa a fabricated story of contacts in Iran, who were said to have secured an arsenal of weapons the US military had left behind in Afghanistan, including 40 to 50 missiles. Stinger ground-to-air.
According to the complaint, one KNU officer said he was able to supply heroin and methamphetamine “at the rate of tons”, while another officer said he “got goosebumps” when he heard about the huge amount of money. Horror is being discussed, with the market price of heroin in New York City. Ebisawa inquired about the “option to pay KNU with “sugar”,” according to the complaint, which noted that the men had previously used the word as the code for heroin, while methamphetamine was “salt.”
At this point, the DEA convinced Ebisawa to agree to launder what he thought were drug proceeds into Japan. He will get 15% commission on his part, and in late November another paid DEA informant surreptitiously delivered a package of cash to Ebisawa at a train station in Tokyo. .
Five months later, he was arrested for premium charcoal-grilled beef in Manhattan.
In a statement, US Attorney Damian Williams said, “We allege Mr Ebisawa and his co-conspirators brokered transactions with an undercover DEA agent to purchase heavy weapons and sell large quantities of drugs. illegal drugs. Drugs were transported to the streets of New York, and arms shipments were destined for factions in troubled countries. Members of this international criminal organization can no longer put their lives in jeopardy and will face justice for their nefarious actions.”
Contacted on Thursday by The Daily Beast, Ebisawa’s court-appointed attorney, Evan Lipton, declined to comment. Ebisawa will return to court on April 19. If convicted, he will face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/yakuza-boss-arrested-at-manhattan-steakhouse-for-alleged-rockets-for-heroin-scheme?source=articles&via=rss Yakuza boss arrested at Manhattan steakhouse for allegedly making rockets for heroes