Latest arrest in Luffy crime group is former beauty contest finalist

One of the most sensational stories that has gripped the Japanese media over the past few weeks has involved the arrests and deportations in the Philippines of several young Japanese citizens, who were allegedly part of the “Luffy group” responsible robbery and fraud since 2021 (including from behind bars). The name of the gang is a reference to the manga and anime franchise One Piece.

One of the most recently detained citizens was 25-year-old Hitomi Kumai. Japanese police issued a warrant for her arrest last September on fraud charges. She is accused of making phone calls tricking people into paying money.

hitomi kumai arrested fraud luffy crime gang

The most intriguing thing about Kumai is her background. She hails from quite a prestigious family, growing up in a large house in Mitaka, an affluent suburb of Tokyo. Her grandfather was a politician who served in the Kochi Prefectural Assembly for five terms.

As a child, she dreamed of being an interpreter and eventually entered Tama Art University after two years as a ronin student (where you cram for exams). It is one of the best art colleges in Japan.

hitomi kumai arrested fraud luffy crime gang

As art college, she had something of an epiphany when she entered a student beauty contest in 2018 (such pageants and contests are still common at Japanese universities). She got through to the finals, claiming her “future dream” is to “do a job that makes people smile,” and her success changed her outlook. No longer interested in fashion design, she wanted to be a model and started proactively posting selfies on social media.

hitomi kumai arrested fraud luffy crime gang

She also allegedly started to make money from compensated dating with older men (in recent lingo, papakatsu). She acquired expensive tastes, buying luxury brand goods and rarely attending classes. She eventually dropped out of college in her third year.

Somewhere along the line, she relocated to the Philippines and became romantically involved with a 24-year-old man, Kairi Fujita, who was arrested with Kumai on March 10. She is said to be pregnant with his child.

hitomi kumai arrested fraud luffy crime gang

From affluence to art college beauty finalist to papakatsu, fraud, and international crime. Now that’s quite a story. And she’s still only 25!

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1 Comment

  • TheDude April 4, 2023

    Talk about crash and burn

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