A suspected manager of an illegal manga hosting website wanted by Japanese authorities for violating the country’s copyright law was apprehended by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Sunday.
Agents from the Bureau’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) arrested Romi Hoshino, a 28-year old Japanese-German-Israeli man who also went by the name Zakay Romi, at NAIA Terminal 3 in Pasay City.
BI Intelligence Officer Bobby Raquepo, who heads the FSU, said the fugitive is wanted in Japan for allegedly managing the illegal manga hosting site Manga-Mura from January 2016 to April 2018.
The cost of damages from the site’s operation is estimated to be at around JP¥320 billion (about PHP151.1 billion) according to the Association of Copyrights in Japan, making it the worst case of copyright infringement in the country’s history.
BI Commissioner Jaime Morente ordered Hoshino’s arrest, which was done in coordination with Tokyo Interpol, at the request of the Embassy of Japan in Manila.
“The Japanese embassy informed us that they will conduct the necessary coordination with the Israeli and German embassies regarding the fugitive’s deportation to Japan,” Morente said.
Hoshino is detained at the BI detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City pending deportation proceedings.