BANGKOK – Shineharu Shirai, 72, a Japanese yakuza boss wanted for the murder of a rival gangster in Japan, caught in Lop Buri after 14 years hiding out in Thailand.
Shirai and seven gangsters were involved in the murder of another gang leader in 2003. The other seven have been arrested but Shirai escaped to Thailand in 2005.
“He admitted that the victim had been bullied and there might have been plots within the Yakuza subgroups to kill him … but he has not confessed to murdering the fellow gang leader,” Thailand’s deputy police chief Wirachai Songmetta said.
It was not possible to contact Shirai or a representative for comment.
Police said the attention of Japanese authorities was drawn after pictures of Yakuza tattoos covering Shirai’s back went viral on social media.
Shirai will be charged with illegally entering Thailand and then deported to Japan to face the murder charges, they said.
Police have also said they would investigate other suspected Yakuza gangsters in Thailand even if they did not have an arrest warrant.
Thailand is notorious for the presence of foreign gangsters. Last month, Thai police arrested four members of a Hells Angels biker gang accused of drugs offenses, violence and posing a threat to society.
By Panarat Thepgumpanat – Reuters