National / Crime & Legal

Couple held over murder of elderly Japanese teacher in Thailand

Kyodo

A Thai couple has been arrested on suspicion of killing and abandoning the body of a 79-year-old Japanese man who had been missing in Bangkok, local police said.

The woman was initially arrested earlier this month on a theft charge for withdrawing 700,000 baht (about $21,700) from a bank account of Yoshinori Shimato, a Japanese-language teacher.

The woman, an acquaintance of Shimato, was released on bail before the police arrested her again together with the man.

Severed body parts were found in a canal in Samut Prakan, which is adjacent to the Thai capital, and DNA testing has confirmed the remains are those of Shimato.

The man allegedly admitted to dumping Shimato’s body but the woman has not made any statements, police said. The couple, both aged 47, denied they were involved committing a murder.

The woman, who attended a press conference organized by the police on Thursday, said she was at Shimato’s home but left and returned there, only to find the Japanese man motionless. She then asked the Thai man to come because she became afraid.

The Thai man was initially believed to be the woman’s husband, but they have not officially married.

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