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Philippine burner phones under scrutiny in Japan robbery ring

Alleged ringleader 'Luffy' may have sent instructions while held at detention center

The detainees at the Bicutan detention facility could be deported as soon as early February.   © Kyodo

MANILA/TOKYO -- The alleged ringleader of a monthslong string of violent robberies in Japan is suspected of giving orders to hired hands using phones loaded with hard-to-trace prepaid SIM cards, even while behind bars in the Philippines.

The shadowy figure, nicknamed Luffy, is believed to be one of four Japanese nationals at the Bicutan immigration detention center near Manila who are suspected of being connected to the robberies.

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