Thai Police Arrest Yakuza Boss After Gang Tattoos go Viral
Thai Police Arrest Yakuza Boss After Gang Tattoos go Viral
Senior police examine tattoos covering the suspect's torso
12 January, 2018, 00:44
Police said he had confessed to being part of the Yamaguchi-gumi gang within Japan's Yakuza, but not to murder.
Shigeharu Shirai was arrested on Wednesday evening in Lopburi province, 150km north of the capital, Bangkok.
The arrest of this Japanese aged yakuza gang member came after a Thai Facebook user posted the photographs of a Japanese old man with body tattoo sheltering near the shrine on August 8 a year ago saying he stayed with a Thai wife in Lop Buri.
Police have also said they would investigate other suspected Yakuza gangsters in Thailand even if they did not have an arrest warrant.
Yakuza are members of transnational organized crime syndicates originating in Japan.
Shigeharu Shirai is accused of murdering a gang rival in 2003. "The suspect admitted he was the leader of the Yakuza sub-gang Kodokai", Thai police spokesman General Wirachai Songmetta said, referring to an affiliate of Japan's largest yakuza gang.
Japanese authorities already knew Shirai was hiding in Thailand where he is married to a local woman but the photos helped in determining his location.
But that was until a Thai local posted an image of Shirai playing a streetside checkers game with his intricate gang tattoos fully exposed and a missing little finger. Once he ran out of money, he stayed in parks.
Police say Japanese associates paid visits to Shirai two to three times a year, each time bearing cash gifts at around 10,000 baht ($312).
Shirai fled Japan for Thailand in 2005 and will be extradited back to face prosecution.
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