• Kyodo


Two Japanese male tourists separately went missing in Thailand last year and are presumed dead, Thai investigative sources said Thursday.

The two men are Akinobu Abe, 32, and Tomohiro Kosha, 30, the sources said, adding that the Japanese Embassy was expected to file a missing persons report shortly with the Thai police.

Abe reportedly disappeared in April last year. A relative in Japan received a message from him on April 2 in which he said he planned to travel to Myanmar on April 15. Abe entered Thailand from Shanghai on Jan. 26, 2001, the sources said.

Kosha went missing after arriving in Aranyaprathet, a northeastern town on the Cambodian border, on July 12, the sources said.

Kosha was to stay overnight in the town and catch a train to Bangkok the next day, according to his sister, who received an e-mail from him the day he arrived in Aranyaprathet.

Thai police investigating the two cases said credit cards belonging to both men were used several times in Thailand after the men disappeared.

Kosha’s was used at several shops along Kaosan Road, the main backpacker street in Bangkok, from July 26 to 28, the sources said.

Employees at a jewelry store where the card was used retained a copy of Kosha’s passport, the police said, adding that the photograph in the passport had been replaced by the man who used Kosha’s card.

The police also learned from a witness in Abe’s case that the man who used Kosha’s card was seen together with Abe before Abe went missing.

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