Yakuza boss is busted in NYC sting ‘for trying to buy surface-to-air MISSILES stolen from a military base in Afghanistan so he could funnel them to militias in Myanmar who paid him in meth and heroin’
- Takeshi Ebisawa, 57, of Japan, unwittingly negotiated deals with an undercover DEA agent, with plans to have US-made weapons shipped to insurgent groups
- The groups had planned on paying with thousands of kilos of meth and heroin, then distributing those drugs in New York
- In turn, the weapons would be provided to two militant groups engaged in the ongoing violence in the war-torn of Myanmar, also known as Burma
- All four men were busted Monday and Tuesday in Manhattan and are being held following their first court appearances
- Ebisawa, a known member of the Yakuza international crime syndicate, has been under DEA surveillance since 2019
A Japanese crime kingpin who’s a member of the feared Yazuka gang was busted after allegedly trying to buy stolen US surface-to-air missiles for militias in Myanmar.
Japanese citizen Takeshi Ebisawa, 57, unwittingly negotiated deals with an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent, it’s claimed.
Prosecutors in New York said he did so after being led into believing he’d secured access to heavy-duty weaponry stolen from US bases in Afghanistan.
The militias he planned to sell the weapons to had offered to pay with 500 kilos (1,102 pounds) of meth and 500 kilos heroin, then distributing those drugs in New York.
Those militas are engaged in the ongoing violence in the war-torn of Myanmar, also known as Burma, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York said in a press release issued Thursday.
‘The drugs were destined for New York streets, and the weapons shipments were meant for factions in unstable nations,’ US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
Japanese citizen Takeshi Ebisawa, 57, pictured, unwittingly negotiated deals with an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration agent
Evidence said to have been taken from Ebisawa’s phone, which investigators say shows a list of weaponry and ammunition he sought to buy
Ebisawa believed he was getting more than 2,200 pounds of meth and heroin to sell on the streets of New York in return for the weapons given to the militias
‘Members of this international crime syndicate can no longer put lives in danger and will face justice for their illicit actions.’
Several others were arrested in connection to the scheme, including Thailand citizens Sompak Rukrasaranee, 55, Somphop Singhasiri, 58, and Suksan ‘Bobby’ Jullanan, 53, who also held US citizenship, according to prosecutors.
All four men were busted Monday and Tuesday in Manhattan and are being held following their first court appearances.
Ebisawa, a known member of the Yakuza international crime syndicate, has been under DEA surveillance since 2019, with the agency calling him a ‘big player’ in weapons and drug trafficking.
Undercover agents went so far as to conduct meetings in Japan and Thailand, according to the complaint.
Ebisawa allegedly had the codeword ‘bamboo’ in place of the word weapons, which were destined to ethnic-based groups Shan State Army and Karen National Union.
And he is said to have used the code word ‘cake’ for drugs.
Three of the four arrested, including the Yakuza leader, believed the weapons had been stolen from US military bases in Afghanistan.
According to the complaint, Singhasiri and Ebisawa planned to distribute upwards of 500 kilograms of meth and another 500 kilograms of heroin.
Rukrasaranee and Jullanan were charged with narcotics importation conspiracy and conspiracy to acquire, transfer and possess surface-to-air missiles.
Meanwhile, Ebisawa is facing the same charges as well as an additional charge of money laundering, with Sinhasiri being booked on charges of conspiracy to possess firearms and narcotics importation conspiracy.