THAILAND, Chiang Rai – Apichat Inthisak, 41, who was arrested in possession of a .38-calibre pistol, said the men hired him to take them to Doi Hang. He claimed the men scolded him over delays and rough terrain leading to an argument that resulted in the shooting.
On Tuesday morning, the body of Takashi Kodo, 44, with gunshot wounds to the head and torso, and the injured Hiromichi Makano, 59, were found in a bamboo forest near a hot spring. Makano was taken to Chiang Rai Prachanukroh Hospital. His condition is now stable in intensive care.
The Japanese men’s two backpacks, carrying a hundred US$100 (S$12,200) banknotes and 47 bullets, were also found at the scene. There were also signs of struggle.
After the shooting, Apichat fled to a nearby Akha village, where police arrested him and charged him with murder and assault.
Adis said initial police investigation found that Kodo – the reported manager of Tokyo’s “Sedu-kai” gang and fugitive from a murder case – did not have a visa to enter Thailand.
His compatriot is suspected of being a caretaker for fugitive gangsters in Thailand.
Adis said the suspect claimed he met the two men a month ago on a bus and gave them his business card.
The two men later contacted Apichat to take them to Doi Hang, Adis said. However, they reportedly scolded him along the way about things such as delays and rough terrain.
When he pulled over at the scene because he could go no further as the road was too steep, Kodo pulled out a gun to shoot him, but he shot Kodo instead. The suspect claimed he then fought with the injured Makano, who used Kodo’s gun to shoot the truck tyre, so he fled on foot to the nearby village.