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Ex-yakuza suspected in ’03 murder in Mie apprehended in Thailand

Shigeharu Shirai
Shigeharu Shirai (Thai police)

THAILAND (TR) – Thai police have apprehended a former Japanese organized crime member who is suspected in the murder of a gangster in Mie Prefecture 15 years ago, reports NHK (Jan. 11).

Shigeharu Shirai is wanted over the shooting death of an upper-level member of the Kodo-kai, an affiliate gang of the Yamaguchi-gumi, in the town of Takasucho in Tsu City in July of 2003.

On Wednesday, Thai police arrested Shirai in Lopburi Province, where he is believed to have been in hiding for 13 years, on suspicion of overstaying his visa. He was apprehended after he was identified in a video posted to Facebook by a local resident.

In a video provided by Thai police, Shirai is shown wearing a baseball cap and a short-sleeve shirt that he pulled down to reveal colorful irezumi tattoos, which are often associated with underworld figures, on his arms and torso.

According to Thai officials, Shirai is expected to be extradited to Japan.