Man arrested after calling telecom company 24,000 times to complain

Posted at 4:19 AM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 04:19:08-05

A 71-year-old man who allegedly made 24,000 toll-free calls to a telecoms provider to complain that the company had violated his contract has been arrested by police in Japan.

The man, identified as Akitoshi Okamoto, was taken into police custody on November 26 on suspicion of “fraudulent obstruction of business,” a Tokyo Metropolitan Police spokesman told CNN.

Police said the man repeatedly called KDDI, a Japanese telecommunications operator, and demanded its staff come to him and apologize for breaking the terms of his service contract.

“He also repeatedly hung up the calls as soon as someone picked up,” the spokesman added.

In a statement to CNN, KDDI said it had received some 24,000 calls from Okamoto since May 2017. It eventually decided to file a damage report to the police in October this year, as the man increased his frequency of calling its customer service hotline, which it said “seriously interfered with its business.”

Okamoto has denied the charges and told police he was the victim, CNN affiliate TV Asahi reported.

The Japanese broadcaster said the man believed that KDDI violated his contract because he could not phone into a radio show using a number that the station had provided.

Anyone who prevents a business from operating normally can be charged with “fraudulent obstruction of business” under Japanese law, and could be sentenced to up to three years in prison.