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Thai police nab Japanese national wanted in ¥500 million fraud

Shuhei Yoshizawa
Shuhei Yoshizawa

BANGKOK (TR) – Thai immigration police have arrested a Japanese man wanted in Japan for participation in a fraud ring linked to organized crime, reports TV Asahi (May 1).

In the early morning hours of Sunday, police apprehended Shuhei Yoshizawa, the 34-year-old president of investment company Miyaya, for immigration violations.

According to police in Japan, members of the ring posed as civic employees in swindling more than 600 people, many of them senior citizens, out of roughly 500 million yen in a medical expenses reimbursement fraud.

The ring also provided funding to the Yamaguchi-gumi criminal syndicate, according to the Bangkok Post (May 1).

In March of last year, Osaka Prefectural Police raided the headquarters of Miyama and made 25 arrests. However, Yoshizawa avoided apprehension and fled to Thailand later that month. Thai immigration police later learned that he was living in Bangkok.

At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, police arrested Yoshizawa in the capital after spotting him inside a vehicle with his wife. The suspect fled his car after he realized he had been seen but was soon after captured by police.

A search of Yoshizawa’s residence revealed a passport issued by the Japanese embassy in Thailand that had been revoked.

In an interview with TV Asahi, Yoshizawa said that he had nothing to do with the fraud.

Law enforcement in Thailand is currently speaking with police in Japan about deporting Yoshizawa.