A Japanese gang member who dodged murder charges for 15
years has been captured, apparently after images of the tattoos on his body
posted on social media caught the cops’ eyes.
According to The
Independent, Shigeharu Shirai (74) was arrested in a rural town north of Bangkok,
Thailand where he had been quietly living with his Thai wife.
Cops say that members of Shirai’s gang would visit two or
three times a year and bring cash gifts.
Shirai and seven others are accused of killing rival gang
member, Kazuhiko Otobe, 14 years ago.
Japan has about 22 recognised “yakuza”, which are
powerful underworld crime syndicates. They are involved in drugs and gambling,
as well as more “respectable” industries like construction, finance and
Shirai had been playing checkers at an outdoor table last
year when a stranger took a photo of his incredible tattoos and posted them on
Facebook. It got more than 10 000 shares.
Tattoos on the back and upper arms are common signs of
belonging to a yakuza. Gang members also often are missing the tip of a little
finger – as is Shirai.
Cop General Wirachai Songmetta said Shirai will face
illegal entry charges before being handed over to Japanese authorities, according
to the report.