Man pretends to visit Muji stores 5.62 million times in 6 weeks; gets arrested again

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Some people believe that criminals can’t help but return to the scene of their crimes, and you could argue that’s what Daigo Sugano did. However, much like with his first arrest, police are saying the 29-year-old resident of Ishikari in Hokkaido managed to pull off a multi-city caper without leaving the town he lives in.

Many retailers in Japan have loyalty programs that reward not only paying customers, but also anyone who visits their store for browsing. Granted, the non-paying visitor rewards are a pittance, at most a few yen of store credit when you check in through the store’s app or kiosk, but still, that’s a few yen’s worth of pure profit. In the case of interior and lifestyle brand Mujirushi (also known as Muji), each visit gets you one point, equivalent to one yen of credit.

According to the police, between April 12 and May 30 Sugano managed to accrue 5.62 million yen worth of Mujirushi points, which would correspond to an identical 5.62 million visits in about six weeks’ time. While some might argue that’s not mathematically impossible for an insanely determined person, investigators say Sugano racked up all those points by pretending to visit 909 Mujirushi branches across Japan, North America, and Europe, utilizing 300 false Mujirushi app accounts and an array of 45 computers in his Hokkaido home to manipulate GPS data.

▼ Used properly, the Muji Passport app can get you free curry. Used improperly, it can get you jail time.


And so for the second time in one month, Sugano has been arrested for computer fraud, since he’s the same guy who also pretended to make 2.7 million visits to Aeon shopping centers. Once again, it was officers from Kyushu, on the opposite side of the country from Hokkaido, once again doing the honors, presumably since some of the defrauded Mujirushi branches were located within their jurisdiction.

The police say that almost none of the credit Sugano acquired remains in his accounts, and are investigating how/where it was used. Considering that Sugano has no official employment but still managed to amass 45 computers in his home, there’s a distinct possibility that he was reselling the credit to third parties, or maybe he just really, really wanted some Mujirushi bean bag chairs, towels, and matcha chocolate-covered strawberries.

Source: Mainichi Shimbun via Hachima Kiko, Mujirushi

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Mujirushi’s Japanese micro-houses are finally on sale to the general public!

-- Japanese interior brand Muji opening its first hotel ever in the heart of Tokyo

-- Anybody want to live rent-free in a house in a Japanese beach town for two years?

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Only in Japan.. lol!!..

1 ( +5 / -4 )

45 computers and no job........when I was a kid this would have been a textbook definition of a nerd!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

"While some might argue that it's not mathematically impossible" Yes it is, unless he was able to visit twice a second, 24/7, for 6 weeks straight.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Or several times a second if he would only be able to visit during store operating hours

7 ( +7 / -0 )

There is something odd about getting arrested for abusing an app. It's not like he hacked a company server. This program clearly has holes and it should be on the company to fix that. Invalidate his points and place limits so this can't be done again.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Points are given for visiting their stores. He didn’t visit. This is why he is in trouble, the app was just a tool.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Hire the guy to fix the problem

9 ( +9 / -0 )

 It's not like he hacked a company server.

That’s irrelevant.

He tried to steal 5 million yen. How is it any different from lifting cash from the till when the cashier isn’t looking?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

MUJI never thought to impose a one visit per day limit?

4 ( +6 / -2 )


That wouldn't have helped because he created 300 false accounts and used 45 computers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

if only he put that knowledge and effort into getting job....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looks like Sugano will end up in Sugamo.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Sounds like a problem with the app and the system more than one of abuse of the loopholes and lack of security. Seems a bit of a grey area, since I was not aware Muji can make laws.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I always wondered if I can use discarded receipts from local supermarket chain and collect the points? I sometimes forget my point card and have a week to claim them at the info desk.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is like figuring out a bug in an ATM, withdrawing a bunch of cash, and expecting not to get charged with theft. Just because you found a bug doesn’t mean you have the right to whatever you can take. The points are there for people to visit their stores. This guy didn’t.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Give this guy a job.. He clearly point out your system is breachable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is there a criminal equivalent of a Darwin Award?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its theft pure and simple.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese tax money should not pay for police arrest and detention. This should be a civil matter between the "visitor" and the company. They should sue him and update their security.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Is there a criminal equivalent of a Darwin Award?

heres the math, if he visted the store 5.6 million times in 6 weeks, there is 3628800 seconds in 6 week so hed have to visted the store almost twice every second, 24/7 6 weeks straight with no sleep. LMFAO

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At Muji, you get ear cleaner for $8, everything so plain and dull yet so expensive.

This could be hilariously made as 'Steal in Seconds', should be directed by Sabu or Sion Sono.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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