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Ex-Mitsubishi Electric CEO’s Son Charged with Violent Crypto Theft

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read
An image showing a man in handcuffs.
Source: Naka/Adobe

The son of the former CEO of Mitsubishi Electric has been arrested in a violent crypto robbery and kidnapping case in Japan – which saw a crypto holder allegedly confined and beaten over a period of 20 days.

Per Weekly Bunshun, Kyoto Prefectural Police arrested eight men on suspicion of kidnapping, assaulting, and confining an individual. Police said this was part of an attempt to steal some $0.75 million worth of tokens. Officers stated that Sugiyama Leo (30) was the group’s ringleader.

Sugiyama Leo was described as a “company executive” and gym operator living in Osaka. And his father, the news outlet noted, is Takeshi Sugiyama, who served as Mitsubishi Electric’s CEO from 2018 to 2021.

The media outlet reported that in June of last year, Sugiyama Leo learned that a member of a gym he managed in Osaka was in possession of considerable cryptoasset holdings.

Police said that Sugiyama Leo and his associates confined this individual to a room in a guest house. Here, the victim was allegedly “tied up with adhesive tape and repeatedly assaulted.”

Officers stated that the victim was repeatedly “kicked in the head.” The assailants also reportedly “threatened to kill the victim’s family” if the victim “ran away or lied to them.” Eventually, the assailants managed to coerce the victim into handing over their crypto wallet’s private keys, officers said.

Police said that the gang then proceeded to steal the crypto – but that the victim finally managed to escape. Once free, the victim then sought help from a “passer-by” near the guest house.

‘Heinous Crypto Crime’ Could See Ex-Mitsubishi Electric CEO Jailed for 3-4 Years

The media outlet quoted a former public prosecutor named Nobuo Gohara as stating:

“This was an exceptionally heinous crime in which the defenseless victim was assaulted in captivity. The perpetrators extorted a large amount of money from the victim.”

Gohara opined that, if convicted, a prison sentence of at least three to four years was “inevitable” for Sugiyama Leo.

Established in 1921, Mitsubishi Electric is one of Japan’s biggest electrical goods companies. The company is one of the core units in the Mitsubishi Group – one of Asia’s most lucrative family-run business groups.

Last month, a Tokyo-based woman in her eighties was reportedly cheated out of $748,000 worth of crypto by a scammer who claimed that her bank account was being attacked.