Unguarded hospital escapee yakuza dies in Fukuoka
An elderly yakuza who walked away from an unguarded Chiba hospital where he was receiving treatment last month while in police custody during an appeal against a life sentence for a drug smuggling conviction has died, prosecutors said.
Officials from the Tokyo High Public Prosecutors Office said they received notification from relatives of 69-year-old yakuza Atsunori Fukushima that he had died in a Fukuoka hospital on March 15.
Prosecutors said that Fukushima, a member of the Matsuba-kai organized crime syndicate, was being held in the Tokyo Detention Center while he appealed against a life imprisonment term handed to him following a conviction for smuggling speed into Japan from North Korea. His lawyer told officials Fukushima was sick and asked that he be allowed to undergo medical treatment, a request the Tokyo High Court approved.
Fukushima was being treated in a hospital in Chiba, but vanished when left unguarded on the night of Feb. 24.
iMainichi Japanj March 18, 2008