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Feds Charge Japanese Yakuza Leader with Nuclear Materials Trafficking

The DOJ alleges that a high-ranking member of the Yakuza, Takeshi Ebisawa, was the central figure in a plot to funnel American weapons to ethnic militias in Myanmar in exchange for heroin and meth. Ebisawa is charged with narcotics importation, money laundering, and conspiracy to acquire surface to air missiles, if convicted he could face up to life in prison.

NBC News

Federal prosecutors in New York on Wednesday said they had charged a Japanese Yakuza leader with conspiring to traffic nuclear materials from Burma to other countries.

Prosecutors said the accused gangster Takeshi Ebisawa “and his confederates showed samples of nuclear materials in Thailand” to an undercover agent from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“With the assistance of Thai authorities, the nuclear samples were seized and subsequently transferred to the custody of U.S. law enforcement,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan said in a statement announcing the indictment against Ebisawa and another man.

“A U.S. nuclear forensic laboratory later analyzed the samples and confirmed that the samples contain uranium and weapons-grade plutonium,” the statement said.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said, “It is impossible to overstate the seriousness of the conduct alleged in today’s Indictment.”

Takeshi Ebisawa of Japan, Leader within the Yakuza Transnational Organized Crime Syndicate, allegedly trafficked nuclear materials, including uranium and weapons-grade plutonium.

Source: SDNY

Ebisawa, 60, and his 61-year-old co-defendant in the case Somphop Singhasiri were previously charged in April 2022 with international narcotics trafficking and firearms offenses, Williams’ office noted.

Both defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges in Manhattan federal court on Thursday.

The Yakuza is a Japanese organized crime syndicate.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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