Police arrest employees of Kabukicho “snack” bar
The 42-year-old Nigerian owner of a bar in Tokyo has been arrested along with 9 other people for stealing money from drunk customers:
The crimes took place at a “snack” bar in Kabukicho called Vegas.
They were running a familiar scam. Hostesses got male customers to buy overpriced drinks, quickly running up a bill that exceeded the amount of cash they were carrying. Before continuing to drink, they would accompany the customers to an ATM, where they would take out more cash (and have their pin numbers noted for later use). The customers would then be made to drink until passing out. When they’d wake up the next morning, they’d discover that somebody had used their ATM cards to take out additional cash.
The bar owner and his hostesses apparently used this method to steal around 1 billion yen over a period of 6 years.
Since 2009, the U.S. Embassy’s homepage has a warning about a similar kind of scam. It mentions Roppongi as an area where scammers are very active. The Japan Times also reported in 2010 that bars and restaurants in Roppongi had used foreign customers’ credit cards to make bogus charges.