Yakuza-linked Japanese fugitive captured in Pattaya

Yakuza-linked Japanese fugitive captured in Pattaya

Police introduce Yakuza aide Chinichi Nagata, 32, who was arrested in Pattaya last Saturday. (Metropolitan Police Bureau photo)
Police introduce Yakuza aide Chinichi Nagata, 32, who was arrested in Pattaya last Saturday. (Metropolitan Police Bureau photo)

A Japanese fugitive linked to a phone-fraud scheme run by that country’s second-largest yakuza crime syndicate has been captured hiding out in Pattaya.

Deputy national police chief Jakthip Chaijinda said Monday that police arrested Chinichi Nagata, 32, on Soi Bua Khao in Bang Lamung district Saturday evening after Japanese authorities requested his arrest last week.

Mr Nagata was said to run errands for Sumiyoshi, Japan's second-largest yakuza group, whose members number about 6,000, the deputy chief said. He is wanted on a Japanese warrant for a multimillion-baht phone scam.

The crime syndicate, once known for extortion, has moved into fraud by conning elderly Japanese into spending their life savings on fake bonds over the telephone, police said.

From April to July last year, the gang tricked victims out of 85 million yen (about 20 million baht). Scams caused damage worth a total 1.5 billion yen, or about 450 million baht, police said.

Japanese police busted Mr Nagata's gang on Nov 15. Twenty-one suspects were arrested, but he escaped to Thailand.

Pol Gen Jakthip said Mr Nagata visited Thailand about 10 times. But this visit he overstayed his visa, which expired on Jan 13, because he faced arrest in his homeland.

Police said the Japanese suspect confessed and they were hunting for his Thai girlfriend, who allegedly helped him during his stay in Thailand.


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