A man has been deported from the Philippines to Japan on charges of running a manga piracy website.
Japan Times reports that a 27-year-old Romi Hoshino was deported from the Philippines on September 24th by Philippines immigration authorities. Hoshino has been accused of running Manga-Mara, a manga piracy website that Japan Times is reporting as causing $2.8 billion in damage to the manga industry. TBS News cites $3 billion in damages.
Hoshino was arrested May 29, 2017 on suspicion of uploading images from One Piece without permission. Three other people were also indicted over the operation of Manga-Mura at unspecified dates.
The website was shut down in April 2018, with Hoshino leaving Japan to the Philippines in May of that year, after being voluntarily questioned by police and denying his involvement with Manga-Mura. Hoshino would later claim to immigration officials in Manila “that he had left Japan because he was offered a business opportunity, among other reasons, and had no intention of fleeing.”
He then allegedly traveled “back and forth” between the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Thailand. Hoshino was then detained in Manila in July 2019 at the behest of the Japanese authorities.