A Hyogo Prefecture police officer has been indicted after attempting to extort a member of the public in order to get money to pay off debt that he racked up ... playing a social video game.
Takahiro Ueyama was arrested on charges of attempted extortion after his would-be victim went to the police with the note he’d left proposing the exchange of police property for cash.
After recording an interview with a woman during a traffic stop on June 10, Ueyama used information he had gathered to locate her home and identify her vehicle. On July 2, he left a letter on the woman’s car offering to sell her the incriminating video.
The next day, the woman went to the police with the note and asked for help. It wasn’t long before Ueyama was arrested for the alleged crime and the story went public.
Ueyama, who is 44 years old, began his career as a police officer in 1989 and was promoted just this year. Aside from this case, there had been no signs of misconduct on his part.
So, why did this 24-year veteran with no history of criminal mischief turn to extortion? Ueyama had racked up debt of over 500,000 yen purchasing items for a game he’d become addicted to. His charges for June alone were over 200,000 yen. It seems that he’d been buying items worth several thousand yen one after the other, and later claimed on his affidavit that the game was his only joy.
Finding himself unable to pay such a large bill, Ueyama seemingly could think of no other option — though he partially denies the allegations, claiming that he didn’t really intend to take any money.
Sources: Hachima Kiko, Asahi Shimbun
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