Police grab girl-pop groupie over illegal loan sharking
EBINA, Kanagawa -- A 42-year-old loan shark under arrest for demanding excessive interest from debtors had used part of his illegally earned proceeds to travel across the country to go to concerts of all-girl J-pop unit Morning Musume, investigators said.
Kazuyuki Aoki, the loan shark living in Yokohama's Hodogaya-ku, is accused of violating the investment law.
Police appeared astonished by his behavior. "I have never heard of anybody using money earned from illegal high-interest loans to travel to celebrities' concerts," an investigator said.
In the specific case for which he was arrested, Aoki extended a combined 100,000 yen to three people between Jan. 9 and 30, and received a total of 42,000 yen in monthly interest, six to 11 times the legal limit, local police said.
However, investigators view this as the tip of the iceberg. They suspect that Aoki earned roughly 100 million yen in illegal interest, and used some 10 million yen of his proceeds to travel around the country to go to Morning Musume concerts.
Last winter, he used about 350,000 yen to fly to Hawaii where he participated in former Morning Musume member Natsumi Abe's Christmas concert. He has been a member of the Morning Musume fan club since the unit was formed in the late 1990s. (Mainichi)