Data reset suspected in phones seized from ‘Luffy’ robbery suspects

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Some of the smartphones seized from four men suspected of coordinating a string of robberies across Japan had almost no data left inside, indicating attempts to hide evidence linking them with the crimes, investigative sources said Wednesday.

Japanese police are stepping up their investigation into Yuki Watanabe, 38, and three others who were deported from the Philippines last week. They have been arrested on suspicion of theft in connection with scam cases targeting elderly people in Japan that took place before the robberies began last year.

The men are suspected of having remotely coordinated the robberies from the Philippines, where they were being detained at an immigration facility.

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