2 more Japanese fugitives linked to ‘Luffy’ robberies deported

Yuki Watanabe and Tomonobu Saito. STORY: 2 more Japanese fugitives linked to ‘Luffy’ robberies to be deported

The remaining two Japanese fugitives implicated in the so-called Luffy robberies — Yuki Watanabe (left) and Tomonobu Saito (right) — have been deported after VAWC cases against them were dismissed by a Pasay court. (Photo from the Bureau of Immigration)

MANILA, Philippines — The deportation of two more Japanese fugitives wanted in their country for a string of violent robberies in their home country pushed through on Wednesday.

Yuki Watanabe and Tomonobu Saito were put on a Japan Air Lines flight. They are escorted by seven members of the International Police (Interpol) and members of the Japanese police.

“The deportation will proceed as planned at 11:45 p.m.,” Department of Justice spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano told reporters several hours before the deportation.

Deportation of the two pushed through after the Department of Justice (DOJ) no longer received any information that the complainants had filed a motion for reconsideration on the granting of the government’s motion to withdraw the case.

“I have surmised that even if a motion for reconsideration has been filed, that has to come with the conformity of the prosecution,” Clavano said adding that since the prosecutor has already moved to withdraw the case and concurred by the court, such a motion “would be futile.”

The suspects in the so-called Luffy robberies in Japan (from left) are Yuki Watanabe, Tomonobu Saito, Imamura Kiyoto, and Fujita Toshiya. (Photos from the Bureau of Immigration)

On Tuesday, the first two Japanese fugitives — Fujita Toshiya and Imamura Kiyoto — were deported under Japanese police escorts after the cases lodged against them were dismissed in court.

The four requested to be deported by the Japanese government due to pending warrants of arrest for their involvement in a series of robberies, theft, and fraud.

One of the four is believed to be “Luffy,” the ring leader of the robbery crime group operating in Japan. “Luffy” is believed to continue running the operations of the group despite being incarcerated at the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration detention facility.

Meanwhile, Immigration Commissioner Norman Tansingco thanked the DOJ for expediting the deportation proceedings against the four.

“This has been a constant frustration for immigration authorities. There are many instances wherein we are unable to implement the deportation of a foreign national because of their pending cases here,” Tansingco said.

“The support of the DOJ to push for the immediate resolution of these cases is really helpful. This action would also help us decongest our detention facility,” he added.

The BI Warden’s Facility and Protection, which houses foreigners with immigration-related cases, has a capacity of 140 but is currently housing more than 300.


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