The arrest of Kansai University 4th year baseball player Hiroyuki Kurioka sent ripples through the college baseball world on Wednesday.
A somewhat complicated story, but here goes.
Kurioka was supplying new bank accounts to a gang that was conning people out of money (furikomesagi). Hiroki Akiya, a high school friend that was attending the Osaka University of Commerce, was apparently working with Kurioka in securing new bank accounts.
When the two were arrested on Wednesday, it was because they were trying to coerce a 19-year-old male to create a new bank account for 50,000yen (~US$500). But when the student declined, the two threatened to kidnap him unless he paid them 2.5M yen (~US$25,000).
The story goes a little deeper though. The 19-year-old male was also apparently friends with Akiya and had already made a number of bank accounts in the past.
In the end, all three men were arrested on charges of attempted blackmail.
Now, the unfortunate thing in all of this is the effect it has had on the Kansai University baseball team. Because of Kurioka, all Kansai baseball team activities have been suspended until the 18th -- that includes practice and any games that might have been scheduled. The Fall League begins on the 29th, so not being able to practice until the 18th is a fairly big deal.
Tough break for Kansai.