Man Who Set Up Jailed Japan Bochurim Walks Free


bentzion-miller1Benzion Miller, the man who set up the three boys from Bnei Brak who were later  arrested for smuggling drugs into Japan, is due to be released tomorrow from the Maasiyahu prison after serving just eight months behind bars.

The decision, approved by the parole board, was made possible thanks to “good behavior” by Miller during his prison stay and taking into account his time under house arrest during his pre-trial period. Miller was sentenced eight months ago to three years in prison for fooling the three Bnei Brak boys.

The 31-year-old Miller, of Yerushalayim, was found guilty of running an international drugs-smuggling network and of lying to the three bochurim.

Miller recruited the three boys, one of whom was a minor at the time, to transport over 90,000 pills of MDMA, commonly known as Ecstasy, from Amsterdam to Japan. The three subsequently testified, backed up by lie detector tests and the testimony of others, that he told them they were transporting items of antique Judaica.

The boys were given tickets to fly to Amsterdam, where they were given suitcases with false-bottoms. They were further told that the “Judaica items” were hidden in order to prevent theft and breakage.

The indictment against Miller was actually an important part of the boys’ lawyers’ defense at the trials in Japan. Together with many other facts and circumstances in this case, the picture emerged that the boys in Japan were misled, and that their naivety and sincerity were abused by people – most notably Miller – whom they trusted.

During the trial, it was revealed that Miller attempted to enlist various other bochurim to serve as couriers for his missions. The boys said that they were offered a number of destinations for the trip. One was Brazil and from there to China. The second was Singapore. In both countries, there is a death penalty for drug trafficking, but even this chilling detail did not prevent Miller and his cohorts from trying to set up the boys.

In response to his shortened sentence, Miller’s lawyer was asked by the Israel Bechadrei Chareidim website what he plans to do after his release.

“He will go to another city and begin a new life,” said the attorney.

As for the families of the boys in Japan and the askanim working on the case, they are furious about the release of Miller, who gets to walk free while the boys he entrapped remain languishing in jail in Japan.


As first reported earlier this month, The Tokyo High Court failed to overturn the ruling of the district court in the case of Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel. However, the presiding appellate judge did show leniency when calculating the credit for time served off the initial sentence. In total, the judge deducted 814 days from the 6-year sentence.

The prosecution initially demanded a 13-year sentence. A sentence of 6 years was handed down in the district court, in addition to a monetary fine of 4 million ¥, the equivalent of $50,000.

The verdict of 6 years was based on the fact that the judges felt that Yaakov Yosef should have suspected that something was amiss, and although they conceded that he had no clear knowledge of any contraband in his luggage, there was negligence on his part for not being more cautious.

The judge claimed that the polygraph examination, while ruling out clear knowledge, does not prove lack of suspicion.

For a number of reasons, an appeal was filed. Among them:

1. Not accepting Yaakov Yosef’s verdict directly assisted Yoel Zev’s trial, which is taking longer than expected due to court technicalities and changes of judges. In Japan, not accepting the verdict is a powerful indication of the defendant’s and co-defendant’s claim of innocence. Furthermore, the appeal process brought to light substantial evidence for the defense of Yoel Zev, who is scheduled to receive his verdict on August 29.

2. Yaakov Yosef was saved from having to go to a forced labor prison camp during the appeal phase. The forced labor sentence allows virtually no free time for davening or learning. Yaakov Yosef spent this time in the detention center learning with great hasmadah.

3. The District Court failed to examine some of the strong evidence, including the polygraph results. It was hoped that at the appeal trial, these elements would overturn the verdict.

Efforts are being made to maintain Yaakov Yosef’s status at the Chiba Detention Center until his transfer to Israel. The askanim will try to avoid the forced labor at all costs.

According to Israeli protocol, one-third of the full sentence can be deducted, and the remaining time can also be commuted as per their discretion. If this goal is met, Yaakov Yosef could be out of prison within 10 months from now. Askanim are working in this direction.

At the Chiba District Court in Japan, the closing arguments – and the final hearing – for the third of the three boys, Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava, took place two weeks ago.

The presiding judge first announced that the court rejects the evidence by a graphologist – a handwriting expert – that showed that the recent evidence presented by Ms. Reiko Suzuki – who had administered the polygraph tests to the boys – had been forged.

On the judge’s bench in the courtroom were a new minor judge and a new prosecutor. The new minor judge, who has never worked as a justice before and is very young, replaced the last minor judge of the three previous judges, led by presiding judge Hiroshi Furuta, a hardliner who has never acquitted anyone before.

The prosecutor concluded that because Yoel Zev was older in age and not a minor when he entered Japan, he deserves a longer punishment and a heavier fine – a 15-year prison sentence and a 5 million yen fine ($62,000).

The judge set the verdict day for August 29 and actually apologized to Yoel Zev for having to keep him in detention for a longer period of time.

All are asked to continue davening for Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel and Yoel Zev ben Mirel Risa Chava.

To take part in the mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim, visit or call 718.534.0030. Checks can be made payable to Orach Chaim Rescue Fund and mailed to Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler, 521 Fifth Street, Lakewood, NJ, 08701.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. How could this guy – a rotzayach – be allowed to live in a frum community? He should be chased out of everywhere.

  2. when a person goes to bais din (court) and lies in order to hurt another person = and then the court learns that this person lied = that the lier gets the punishment that he was attempting to throw onto another person? Yes, this is the halachah = therefore, Mr. Miller, by cheating and hiding items inside the suitcases of these young men = knowing full well that they can get caught and placed in jail (on his behalf), it is as if he lied to keep himself clean and free. Mr. Miller ought to go to Japan and stay in the jail for the three boys = and when he finishes his sentence, he can come back to New York to do his time in America.

  3. He should sit in Japan either instead of his victims or with them so they can watch him suffer along side them.

  4. The “war” on drugs is a stupid waste of time. Most people can use recreational drugs with few ill effects. Those who can’t, obviously, should avoid them. But there’s no need for the cops and the law to be involved the way they are. It’s a waste of taxpayer money and it’s merely turned our society into the beginnings of a police state.

  5. We should see if the US will take him in place of granting Asylum in Israel for R Shalom Meir. With who we have in the white house he probably won’t because there is no justice in this country since the muslims are in charge, but in 2012 maybe.

  6. This piece of slime garbage deserves like an eid zomeim. Same as his victims. Total of all the time the boys spent and will spend in jail. Double it like a goniff because he was goinev daas of the boys. And in Japan not in the comfort of an Israeli jail.

  7. The tzibur is requested to continue including Yoel Zev ben Mirel Reesa Chava and Yaakov Yosef ben Raizel in tefillos.

  8. Kall yisroel is so into judgement when true judgement belongs to Hashem.
    Whatever became of torah 282 Azamra. You have to be dan lekaf zchus every person even a rusha gamur.

    I’m not ready to cast any stones on anyone of my brothers. Maybe you can all stand down and start trusting Hashem’s decisions over the human element. Hashem is still in charge last time I checked.

  9. A shanda on the Israeli injustice system! This guy should be in prison with the key thrown in the garbage, aza rushu he knew his actions could render the boys to be killed under the death penality, what a sick peace of filth!

  10. let him….
    but before that,let him do 20 years in a Turkish jail,
    or maybe, forget jail and tear this guy limb from limb. what a chutzpah,dealing drugs, and messing up the boys.

  11. This man knowingly and willingly convinced three young and naive boys to do something which they did not know was illegal, and as such, they were imprisoned.
    A person such as Miller is a Rodeif, the Torah is mafker his daam.

    In a time when justice is not found in the houses of law, we are obligated to cause a system of true justice to come about by our own means.

  12. what a sick joke this is,
    this piece of human garbage,should have a gotten,life in prison and without the possibility of parole

  13. He should not see the daylight till the last of the boys are out of jail. Then he should start paying and I mean big time for all the suffering and aggravation he has done to the boys and their extended family. Then he should repay all the monies that were needed for the defense of the boys. I think he will prefer to stay in jail.

  14. To Dave Lowy (#7)
    That’s the classical example of using divrei Torah for krumkeit! It’s akin to reading Lo Sirtzach as a question instead of a statement, i.e., What, Lo Sirtzach?

  15. Kaasher zamam might demand that he be killed, since he tried to send them to Singapore and Brazil, where they could have gotten the death penalty, r”l. Hashem yoshi’aim viyotzi’aim mi shibud l’geulah.

  16. #7 what kaf zechus? Did he come forward to help the boys who are still sitting. He is free and they are in foreign jails – this is not a victimless crime.

  17. to # 7 why when he was machtie others? are you aware of what might be Mitigating circumstances? It says ” Kol hamerachem al hachzarim sofo lehitachzer” this man basically took away years from 3 young lives for his personal monetary gain which came out in court with a guilty verdict so why should we now make his crime parve

  18. as they say in the hood, this lowlife should be very worried for his kneecaps, and din shamayim, which ever comes first.

  19. Hashem pays back Reshaim kigmulam. So if he is a Rasha Let Hashem pay him back. Who are we to judge people when we are NOT bais din!!!

  20. 7

    Being Dan L’Kaf Zechus is only for innocent people
    we don’t need to be dan l’kaf zechus people who are guilty.

  21. I think the Torah says that judging favorably is an act we do for those that follow a Torah life style, whereas those that don’t, and haven’t even expressed a sign of remorse should not be shown any sign of being judged favorably!

  22. To all the amaratzim on this site: eidim zomemim only applies to umm EIDIM. This guy was, at best, a shaliach l’dvar aveira. You all remember the din there, right? (Hint: it’s not chayav.)

    According to Halacha, the boys had a responsibility to check for themselves. Doesn’t make this guy any less of a scumbag, but you should all learn a little before you start spouting “eidim zomemim”.

  23. This piece of human waste has already left the geder of amcha. Send him to Japan to serve hard labor in place of the bochurim.

  24. this peace of …. should have to serve the time for all these guys that way they could come out a pay all their $$$$ that this cost all of them all together and after and on top of that Hashem has it in for him that is just what we can see what should happen to him with our human eye

  25. mr.7 how cud u say such a thing??? everyone knows being dan lkaf zchus doesnt apply to a rasha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Why don’t the parents of the boys sue him for financial damages? At least try to get something out of him.

  27. #18 and similar idiots like you…being dan l’Kaf zecut means giving the benefit of the doubt; for scum like Miller there IS NO DOUBT> the loser piece of garbage is guilty.

    As bad is that this trash is l’fnei eber- what was he going to do with all the drugs he accumulated? He was gonna sell them to kids! That means he would be either a) supplying a drug addict with drugs or b) causing someone to become a drug addict or a minimum, a drug user…and in both cases he would be making money -huge money- in the process.

    Next, dont forget the fact that he recruited two boys to assist him in this horrible crime.

    There is no need for being l’kaf zechut because there is no doubt he is a criminal. Send him to Turkey or Siberia…I hope his life is made miserable by every person who comes in contact with him.

  28. I hope his release after just 8 months does not send the wrong signal to the judiciary in Japan.

    What a meeyisse briyah.

    Shem reshaim yirkov.

  29. ha ha, Drake (#11), i’m assuming you categorize yourself as part of those “most people can use recreational drugs with few ill effects”. Just this feeling I got, y’know? like all dizzy and the slight pounding behind the eyes? anyway, do you always spell your name with the first letter in lowercase and the rest capitalized, or is this one of the effects you don’t suffer from?

  30. where are you all coming from?????? we are Jewish,no? Hashem is the judge!!!! of course he is a terrible person and should be put in cherem but leave the punishments to thew one above!!!!!!!