Ex-Inmate Talks of Corruption at Philippine Detention Center


Tokyo, Feb. 6 (Jiji Press)--A former Japanese inmate at a Philippine immigration detention center holding suspected leaders of a series of robberies across Japan has recounted how corrupt the facility was during his stay there in 2019.

"It was a place where money was everything," said Romi Hoshino, former operator of pirate website Mangamura. He was detained for three months to September 2019 at the Bicutan center, which is holding four Japanese people believed to be linked to the robberies, including one or more who called themselves "Luffy."

Hoshino, 31, now on parole, got a prison sentence for violating copyright and other laws by running now-defunct Mangamura. He stayed in the Philippines before being arrested by Japanese police.

According to Hoshino, inmates lived in a horrible environment at the detention center, where more than 500 people were crammed into a space with a capacity of about 80.

When there were not enough beds, inmates slept in shared spaces. Normally, a room of about four tatami mats, or roughly 6.5 square meters, was used to accommodate four people, but if one paid a bribe, he was able to live in a room with an air conditioner and a television set alone, Hoshino said.

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