BANGKOK – Police in Bangkok are looking to re-question Ms. Pornchanok Chaiyapa in the disappearance of an elderly Japanese man she had befriended, after learning that she had been married earlier to another Japanese man who died.
Pornchanok Chaiyapa, who has changed her name three times, was freed on bail after being charged with theft after using the missing man’s ATM card to withdraw 700,000 baht from his bank account. She was charged with theft and released on bail of 100,000 baht.
Mr. Tetsuo Yoshinori, a 79-year-old former Japanese language teacher, has not been seen since Sept 21.
The Bangkok Post reported detectives seeking clues to Mr Yoshinori’s whereabouts on Saturday searched five houses in Bang Sao Thong district of Samut Prakan province. One of the houses, in the Orchid Villa housing estate on Bang Na-Trat Road, belongs to Mrs Pornchanok, 47. The others belong to her relatives.
Pol Col Sombat Milinthajinda, acing investigative chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said officers so far had found no evidence connected to the disappearance.
Pol Col Sombat Milinthajinda said Mrs Pornchanok stated that she had brought the old man to a hospital in Bang Na for treatment of his coronary artery disease, and then sent him back to his accommodation at Srivara Mansion 2 in Din Daeng district of Bangkok. She said she did not see him after that.
Mrs Pornchanok is a native of Bang Sao Thong district and has had three names, according to a source familiar with the case. She was married twice. The first time was to Somchai Kaewbangyang and they had a daughter. At the time she was Pensri Chaiyapa.
In 2002 the woman adopted the surname of her former Japanese husband, Tanaka Kashitoshi. They also had a child.
Later Mr Kasitoshi contracted coronary artery disease and fell down some stairs to his death. Bang Sao Thong police assumed the death was an accident but his relatives doubted the assumption as the man had life insurance.
In 2004 the woman changed her name to Pornchanok. She got to know Mr Yoshinori in April this year.
Police said an arrest warrant issued by the Phra Khanong district court was outstanding for Mrs Pornchanok for assault, and that she had also faced a fraud charge. Her present husband is a taxi driver.
Police in Bangkok have reported that since her release on bail they did not know her whereabouts.