2019-10-13 - Well Hidden


Babs has done some digging on the Yakuza and takes her findings to Ken

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Sun Oct 13 08:18:53 2019
Location: Dojo

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How Barbara Gordon knows when to arrive at Kens Dojo while he's there is possibly a question he's going to start asking himself sooner or later. He hasn't been back long from meetings with his company and yet here the redhead is, entering his dojo and removing her shoes, leaning on her cane as she does.

She's a bag in her hand that he might recognise from the shop where he buys his supply of Matcha tea, as well as her own bag - the one she normally carries her tablet in.

"Harada-san?" Her voice sounds out through the dojo.

"Gordon-san?" Ken may indeed start to wonder how she knows when he's going to be around. He steps out from the side room still in corporate wear, which is to say a button up shirt and slacks. He's removed his shoes and coat and tie. He looks every bit the Asian businessman though.

"What brings you by. You are not scheduled for a lesson, I do not believe."

Babs green eyes rake over Ken in his corporate wear appreciatively. The man certainly knows how to dress. "Forgive my intrusion, Harada-san, I come bearing gifts though." She holds out the bag. Inside he'll find the tea that he likes so much.

"I come on business though, not a lesson. I have been investigating those men and thought you might like to know what I've found, already." Could she have found something of real value in such a short time?

"Thank you, Gordon-san." Ken accepts the package and walks over to a small set of cabinets to lay it there. He will put it away shortly. He's still curious as to the purpose of the visit.

The news that she's been investigating puts him into 'teacher' mode. He kneels down on the cushions and motions for her to join him. Yes, he saw that look. "I would. What have you found?" If he sounds like he's evaluating her… he kind of is.

Why the new puts Ken in teacher mode makes Babs wonder, the change in demeanour is notable. Taking her place on the cushions, lowering herself carefully - she's got this down to an art - Babs watches Ken carefully. He's testing her, she knows he is.

"Nagumo-san has interest in several companies out of Japan, as I'm sure you already know. However, it appears he might also have interest in holdings here in New York." The redhead dips her head, looking up from under her lashes. "Tracking his bank transactions seems to indicate that."

"Interesting." As a teacher Ken gives away little. He does not comment on the rightness or wrongness of a technique until it has entirely unfolded. It means he doesn't give much in the way of feedback mid-lesson. It also means that he has a better understanding of why she might be making mistakes. To be fair he might not have this information and this is simply how he digests it.

"That is not surprising. Have you learned anything about which holdings or what his interests in them might be?"

"A little, Harada-san but the trail is difficult to follow." Babs raises her head to watch how he assesses her. She doesn't fidget or move. Just calmly lays it out. "The payments go to companies with different ownership. Normally that would indicate they aren't related but something didn't seem right."

Taking out her tablet, the redhead pulls up a social media stream. It's from a couple of months ago and it shows images of a business function. There's all sorts of people. But in the corner of the first image is Nagumo with a small, dark skinned woman on his arm. "The woman is Naomi Taketa, owner of the restaurant, Setsunai."

Another picture, with Nagumo not in the foreground. This time it's a different woman "She's known as Akari and owns a small, ecclectic, art gallery."

There's one more photo, much the same except this woman is Caucasian "Penelope Yumi. She owns a beauty salon here in Staten Island. Would you like to know where I traced the payments to?"

Kenuichio seems to pay attention. Seems to memorize the women. He doesn't comment on the fact that they're all women though that certainly could stand some scrutiny. No instead he simply listens and considers. It's a minute or so before he answers her.

"Were I to guess I would say that the payments went through their companies but yes. Tell me where you traced them."

There has to be a shell company that can collect all of this when it is done but it's probably very cleverly hidden. It might not be an umbrella corporation either, but a small subsidiary tucked away somewhere.

"You would be right. Small payments each and everytime, Harada-san, but a number of them over time. You wouldn't notice them if you weren't looking." How Babs made the connection she's not saying. Maybe … it was intuition.

"Nagumo-san hasn't been linked in the media with any woman and yet, if you go through these feeds, you'll see he's seen with each of them multiple times over the last year or so." Is it more than just business? She's not saying and she's not sure it matters. Not yet, anyway. "What I can't find is the connection between them. I would have thought a holding company or similar but there's nothing I can find in their banking records or the data I could access online."

"It's possible, Harada-san, even likely that the information is kept on a computer that isn't on the internet or even in hardcopy."

"It may be kept in more exotic ways. Tattoos on a trusted retainer. Or in the mind of a trusted but harmless looking old man." Kenuichio says as he considers.

"It is possible that the money is split up into different holding companies to prevent it from being tracked but that would make it difficult to access. If I were them, I might be using cryptocurrency at this point. The money would be impossible to link."

Blockchain technology is pretty good and Ken is right about that. Of course there's always the weakness of these systems in that the very anonymity of the transaction prevents many failsafes from working. If the passwords to the relevant wallets are lost or stolen there's little recourse.

"It should at least be possible to tell if they ARE buying cryptocurrency."


Babs blinks. And blinks again. "Tattoos on a trusted retainer …." she says faintly. the thought hadn't even occured to her. It should have. "That might be the case for Naomi and Akari, not for Penelope. I will see what I can find out about those close to them."

The harmless looking old man comment gets a sharp look from the redhead "Is that how you do it, Harada-san? You have a 'harmless old man' from the old country travel with you?" She's … teasing?

"Yes, I can tell if they're buying cyptocurrency. The transactions appear in their bank accounts and they do, for all of them. We just need to get access to their wallets to find out where they're spending it."

"I can do that. Or at least someone I know can."

"Of course. Would you think to subject an old man to a cyptographic examination? Would you, if you were the police, want the media attention that came from doing that?" No. Which is why the Yakuza do it.

"I do not need to keep secrets in that fashion, so thankfully no. But I am familiar with the technique." Because he WAS Yakuza. And he as HYDRA. Babs knows that but she can't let on. Not like this.

"Oh? That would be a very talented hacker. Or someone on the inside. Which, I wonder, is it that you have?"

"Well, I might but I take your point. The police would certainly come under scrutiny for that." There's a certain family retainer that Barbara can think of that fits that mould. It works quite well for the Waynes.

"Are you now? And why would that be, Harada-san?" Babs can't let on but she will ask.

"Someone versed in Break and Enter, actually, who would be equipped with state of art tools to assist them. I'm not without resources or contacts, Harada-san, I told you that. They will do this if I ask. We know where these women live and work."

"Because in another life I was very connected to a world of heroes and villains. I am aware of what kinds of tools and techniques people who actively enforce or actively break the law employ." Which is telling but not telling. Surely he knows that Babs would be able to figure out who Kenuichio Harada was if she googled it. But he doesn't advertise it. Indeed that is literally true. It might bring in more business to the dojo if he let it be known that Silver Samurai was the one teaching but business per se doesn't seem to be the aim.

"An interesting contact for a private investigator to have. If indeed they are taking payments from the Yakuza then they will be aware that endangering Yakuza business will be bad for their health. I would expect them to have precautions in place."

It's interesting that Ken doesn't hide he's the Samurai. Barbara sometimes wonders what it would be like - to be that … open. It would simplify somethings but complicate others and she's not sure which is better. But this is the way of the Bats. "I know some of your history, Harada-san." She allows. He did tell her she would find things out about him.

"Are you sure it's so interesting? Most do have them, we just don't … advertise that know or use them. Of course, doing such a thing would be highly illegal." Those green eyes meet his, there's a certain mischief hiding behind them. "They will be careful and they know how to overcome most precautions."

The redhead cants her head, considering her Sensei. "Are you raising these points as objections or are you testing me?"

"I want to know if you have properly accounted for the depths to which these people will go to protect their interests." Kenuichio says. When she tells him she knows of his history, he inclines his head. It is after all public and wasn't exactly his choice but it has indeed very much simplified many things. Though it does mean all of his enemies know who he is as well.

"I wish you and your contact good fortune though. Knowing exactly what interests the Yakuza have in this place will greatly enhance our understanding of what they aim to do."

Particularly Ken's who knows how they think and how they operate.

"I don't know that I have, Harada-san. I can only say that I don't know what I don't know and take appropriate precautions. My contact is not inexperienced and if they are concerned, they will vacate as quickly as they can."

"Would you like what I have to date to review?" In there is information he could use to determine the location of these women. Though it's possible the Samurai might have another visitor one night, inviting him to tag along with her.

"If you do not mind, then yes I would like that." The Samurai might indeed get a visitor and that would be interesting. It would certainly mean that he would make a connection between Barbara and Batgirl though very likely a WRONG connection. Is Babs willing to risk that? Or would it amuse her.

"Will you stay for tea, by the way? Seeing as how you've come all this way and you did bring me tea." It's only polite of him to offer and Ken has been unfailingly polite to Babs.

"Then you shall have them. Check your phone …" A few gestures over her screen and Kens phone 'chimes', the files available via a secure download link. The WRONG connection would suit Babs just fine. Just like Oracle is separate entity, Batgirl MUST be too.

"You are kind, Harada-san. I would like that. I find your company … pleasant." She admits with a small smile. "Perhaps while we drink, you'll tell me some tales of derring do. And how you can by your tremendous skills."

"I will tell you some of that story." Kenuichio smiles. He rises to retrieve the kettle and put it on. Tea is a simple thing really. But it constantly amazes him how many important things can happen over it.

As to the tales. Well. For a man of his age he has quite a few to tell doesn't he? It won't be the whole story. Not tonight. But it will be enough. Enough probably to make her dig just a little bit more when she gets home.

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