The trial began Thursday of a man charged with being the ringleader in the kidnapping of a 12-year-old girl in Tokyo's Ota Ward last November.
The Tokyo District Court heard that the defendant, Hiroaki Haneda, 44, from Saitama, and two other men -- Genki Miyagi, 25, from Okinawa, and Ryunosuke Taba, 24, also from Okinawa -- grabbed the girl off the street in Denenchofu and forced her into their car at around 5 p.m. as she was on her way home from school, TV Asahi reported. At 6:50 p.m., the girl's mother received a pay phone call from the kidnappers who demanded that she prepare a 20 million yen ransom in exchange for her daughter. She contacted police.
Police said the kidnappers got the girl's home phone number from her mobile phone.
However, at around 8 p.m., a police officer in Fuchu, western Tokyo, who was on the lookout for a stolen car's license plate, but who knew nothing about the kidnapping, stopped the car and found two of the kidnappers and the girl who was blindfolded in the trunk of the car with her feet and hands bound.
The officer called for back-up and Haneda and Miyagi were arrested. Taba was taken into custody in Kanagawa Prefecture, police said.
The court heard that Haneda met the other two on an Internet chat site where they discussed the possibility of a kidnap for ransom. Haneda, who pleaded guilty, said they chose the girl at random, TV Asahi reported.
Miyagi and Taba were tried separately.© Japan Today