Philippines deports 2 robbery suspects to Japan

TOKYO, Feb 07 (Nikkei) - The Philippines deported on Tuesday two of four Japanese men suspected of planning and coordinating a string of robberies across Japan beginning last year, with Japanese police immediately arresting them when they boarded a flight to Japan.

The arrests of Kiyoto Imamura and Toshiya Fujita, both 38, came after days of developments around an immigration detention facility in Manila where the four men have been held, with their repatriation hinging on courts dismissing local criminal cases against them.

The police have for some time sought for the four men to be turned over on arrest warrants issued on suspicion of theft in connection with a scam targeting elderly people in Japan. Imamura and Fujita were cleared of charges in the Philippines before their deportation.

"They are being deported because they have been tagged by their government as fugitives from justice. Therefore they are considered undesirable aliens in this country," Philippines' Bureau of Immigration spokesperson Dana Sandoval told reporters Tuesday.

The remaining two suspects, Yuki Watanabe, 38, and Tomonobu Kojima, 45, have been cleared for deportation following a local court on Tuesday dismissing their cases, according to their lawyer and a Justice Department official. ...continue reading