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Japan Subculture Research Center

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Yamaguchi-gumi using pre-paid internet to sell child pornography?


Feb 12, 2010

Pre-paid USB wifi cards from eMobile, one of several companies that offer the service.
Pre-paid USB wifi cards from eMobile, one of several companies that offer the service.

According to an organized crime watchdog, police in Wakayama Prefecture have uncovered a child pornography ring that was able to set up a website selling DVDs by abusing the anonymity of pre-paid wireless Internet cards. Pre-paid Internet access through USB wireless modems are becoming increasingly popular, as use does not require a contract with a provider. Authorities arrested five members of the ring last month on violations of child prostitution and pornography laws, and are currently looking for a Yamaguchi-gumi affiliated gang member who they believe to be the ringleader.

Police say the group operated the website selling pornographic DVDs featuring girls under 18 and sold them for 1,000 yen each. Around 2,000 DVDs, a prepaid modem and prepaid mobile phone were found at the Gunma Prefecture home of one arrested man. Other suspects were apprehended in Nagasaki, Hiroshima and elsewhere, and are believed to have used Internet cafes as bases for their operations. Customers deposited money for orders into a personal bank account located in Fukuoka. Police are investigating the ring as a potential source of income for organized crime groups.

3 thoughts on “Yamaguchi-gumi using pre-paid internet to sell child pornography?”
  1. Please allow me to make sure I understand the technical side.

    They were running the web servers on machines connected via pre-paid wireless Internet cards? They had some sort of dynamic DNS for the hostnames?

  2. I’m not sure I understand the technical side of how the pre-paid cards work, unfortunately. Prepaid mobiles are often used by yakuza, they say, because it’s more difficult to track the owner and thus the source of the calls. I’m assuming for the wireless Internet cards, it’s more the fact that you don’t need the same kind of contract (credit card number, bank account details on record, etc.) to get the account as you would with a normal subscription-based service.

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