English article: Deaf men arrested over sign-language extortion

February 1, 2012

Police have arrested three Deaf men on suspicion of using sign language to extort money from another Deaf person in Aichi Prefecture.

The three suspects, identified as Yokoi Kenta (33), Tanaka Takao (30), and Takata Hidetoku (34), are accused of duping a Deaf woman into giving them 300,000 yen in December. 2009.

According to investigative sources, the three used sign language to deceive a 25-year-old female company employee from the city of Nishio, Aichi Prefecture, telling her that Tanaka had a heart disease and needed money to cover his hospitalization expenses.

When the woman dismissed their story, police said the three became more aggressive, signing: "Do you want Tanaka to die from his disease?" and "You can't go home (without giving us money)."

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