U.S. imposes sanctions on Japan's No.2 yakuza crime family

Reuters News

9/27/2012 11:36:29 AM - Reuters News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on Japan's second largest yakuza crime syndicate and its leaders, freezing their U.S. assets and blocking their transactions with American entities.

The financial penalties against the Sumiyoshi-Kai clan and its two leaders are the second time the Obama administration has tried to disrupt the yakuza's activities since it identified the Japanese group as a significant criminal organization.

Sumiyoshi-Kai's leader, Shigeo Nishiguchi, and the clan's deputy, Hareaki Fukuda, were added to the U.S. Treasury's list of persons hit with asset freezes.

In February, the Obama administration imposed similar sanctions on the most prominent yakuza crime family, the Yamaguchi-gumi, as well as its godfather and deputy godfather.

The U.S. Treasury did not provide details on whether the yakuza has any assets under U.S. jurisdiction or how the sanctions have undermined the Japanese crime group.

(Reporting By Rachelle Younglai; editing by Andrew Hay)