Yakuza leader caught after 13 years of escape: Lived retreated, but found photos online
Thai police arrested one of the leaders of the Japanese mafia Yakuza after 13 years of escape by using a photo of his tattooed body that appeared on the internet.
The 72-year-old Shigeharu Shirai was detained last night in Lippbury, a small town in Thailand.
“The suspect admitted that he is leader of the sub-group, Yakuza Kodokanai, but not that he participated in the execution of the murder under investigation,” a Thai police spokeswoman said, adding that the group is part of one of the largest gangs of Jakuza – Yamaguchi -Goods.
The Japanese authorities are seeking the notorious mobster for participating in the 2003 murder of his rival. Shortly after the killing, Shirai escaped from the country and went to Thailand where he was hiding and married. The secret to his “shelter” seems to have been pretty well preserved until a local newspaper posted a picture of a weak man with a large tattoo on his body and without a tip of his little finger.
The photo immediately became viral on the Internet and was shared over 10 thousand times in a matter of hours, after which it drew the attention of the Japanese police from where the Bangkok authorities were contacted and were asked to investigate the case.
He was soon officially arrested for illegally staying in Thailand because he did not have a passport and visa and would soon be extradited to Japan. According to the Thai police, he lived for 13 years and spent money two or three times a year from a Japanese man who visited him.
The gang of gangs that function as a mafia for centuries are part of the Japanese society and it is estimated that the Mafia has as many as 60,000 members. The bulk of their property is acquired illegally by betting, prostitution, drug trafficking and cyber hacking.