Thai driver jailed for Yakuza murder. Police hunt two suspects. Victim’s identity revealed. Crime details emerge. Body parts found. Investigation update. Yakuza presence in Thailand highlighted.

Thai police on Thursday wrapped up a murder investigation into the murder of a Yakuza crime boss in Nonthaburi. Significantly, it came just six days after a minor body part was found in the Bang Bua Thong district of the province. However, the case took on a darker tone on Tuesday, April 23rd. That is when a skull and black bags found in the vicinity indicated the murder of an associate of the gang. Within hours, police had made their only arrest in the case. A 31-year-old Thai man who acted as a hired driver for the three Yakuza associates. In short, they heard a hair-raising account of murder and butchery at a remote warehouse in the province.

(Right) The victim was 47-year-old Yakuza crime gang deputy leader Mr Ryosuke Kabashima, who had been on the run. He is understood to have lived in Thailand for some time. This CCTV shot is from the night he met his killers outside his Sathorn apartment on March 28th. (Left) Passports of the two killers. (Top) 49-year-old ‘Boss’ or Mr Takuya Kato and his younger associate, 27-year-old Mr Hiroto Suzuki.

A 31-year-old Thai national was sent to prison on Thursday after being arrested for assisting two members of the Yakuza criminal syndicate.

This followed the culmination of a murder investigation opened when human body parts first appeared last Friday in Nonthaburi province, just outside Bangkok.

At length, arrest warrants and charges were brought against 31-year-old Kritsakorn Jaiphitak, also known as ‘Game,’ related to the execution of a senior Yakuza crime syndicate figure on March 28th last.

Skull of the victim found on Tuesday as well as body parts that told police it was murder and that the victim was a Yakuza member with distinctive tattoos

Horrid details emerged of the murder after a body part was found in Nonthaburi in an alley on April 19th. Afterwards, numerous black bags with body parts were found. One had the skull of the victim with a bullet hole clearly visible.

A rapid Royal Thai Police investigation ensued, with forensics confirming the victim had been shot at point-blank range.

The victim has been identified as 47-year-old Mr Ryosuke Kabashima, deputy leader of the Yamaguchi-gumi, one of the largest Yakuza crime syndicates.

The investigation into the murder was conducted by Bang Bua Thong Police Station. Superintendent Police Colonel Pruet Chamroonsat quickly identified the Thai suspect, 31-year-old Mr Kritsakorn or ‘Game,’ as the driver for the Yakuza group.

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Furthermore, it is thought that the victim, Mr Kabashima, may have been living in Thailand for some time. After the horrific discovery of body parts stuffed into black bags, police tracked down Mr Kritsakorn.

First body part discovered last Friday, April 19th. Police later learned from the driver that the murder or execution had taken place on Thursday, March 28th

The first body part was discovered on Friday, April 19th. Later, on Tuesday, further black bags were found, including the victim’s skull.

Subsequently, they found out that the murder took place on March 28th last. 

Mr Kabashima was staying in an apartment in Sathorn. He was met by a car driven by the Thai man and two Yakuza syndicate associates. This was outside the apartment complex.

After that, he was taken to a restaurant in the Thonburi area of Bangkok. Mr Kritsakorn or ‘Game’ was able to provide valuable witness evidence. 

The two men in the car that evening were 49-year-old Mr Takuya Kato, known as ‘Boss,’ and his sidekick, 27-year-old Mr Hiroto Suzuki.

At length, on the way to an old warehouse in Bang Bua Thong hired by the crime gang, the man known as Boss argued with Mr Kabashima.

The warehouse was located on Soi Allan in the Phimonrat Sub District of Bang Bua Thong.

Game asked to leave the car. He told police he heard a shot. Afterwards, he assisted the Yakuza crime syndicate members to butcher and dispose of the body

Finally, Boss asked Mr Kritsakorn to leave the car. Afterwards, a single gunshot was heard.

Later, residents in the area recounted hearing the shot. However, they thought it may have been a firecracker used to scare off pests.

At length, the rundown warehouse had been previously used for furniture manufacturing.

Locals became aware recently that it had been hired by outsiders.

When Thai police investigating the murder discovered the Japanese connection, they sought help from police in Japan.

They quickly discovered the background of their victim and the two main suspects. This was on Wednesday this week.

Mr Kabashima was wanted in Japan.

In addition, he was the subject of a Red Notice from Interpol. At the same time, he is believed to have moved to Thailand some time ago. A visa issued to him was revoked by Thai authorities in 2022.

Car found at the warehouse was a Chevrolet with no licence plates. Police quickly obtained CCTV footage which confirmed the testimony of the Thai accused

Earlier, the police had raided the Bang Bua Thong warehouse.

There they found the Chevrolet sedan believed to have been used in the murder. It had no licence plates.

Police obtained CCTV footage of the area. This corroborated everything Mr Kritsakorn had told them.

On Tuesday, police arrested the Thai suspect. It came as the murder case deepened. The discovery of body parts with distinctive Yakuza tattoos told part of the story.

Nonetheless, the Thai suspect known as ‘Game’ insisted he was innocent of the crime. He claimed only to have been hired as a driver.

At the same time, he was aware that the dead man’s body had been butchered after the murder.

In addition, he admitted to helping the two Yakuza crime lords in disposing of the body parts. He drove the pair as they distributed black bags at various dumping points.

Arrest warrants sought and obtained for the two Japanese suspects in the case. The two Yakuza killers may still be in Thailand according to police sources

On Thursday, police confirmed that they had applied to Nonthaburi Provincial Court for arrest warrants for the two Japanese suspects.

They are charged with premeditated murder, illegal use of firearms, and the concealment of a body.

Certainly, police are not sure if the suspects have fled Thailand.

In short, it may be that they have the ability to lie low in the kingdom. In any case, there is no record of the parties leaving the country at normal border crossing points.

Several officers pointed out that the statute of limitations on the murder charge is 20 years.

In the meantime, Mr Kritsakorn was brought before Nonthaburi Provincial Court on Thursday.

In short, the court refused him bail.

He is being charged for his role in the murder, including the concealment of the murdered man’s body. The court held that the case was a particularly egregious one. In addition, it carried a high penalty.

The 31-year-old suspect was taken to Nonthaburi Provincial Prison as police pursued their case against him.

Yakuza crime syndicate known to be in Thailand

On a wider scale, the disturbing case highlights the presence of the fearsome Japanese crime syndicate in Thailand.

Undoubtedly, it shows how such gangs and their associates can move freely and conduct business in Thailand.

In December 2022, officials with the Japanese Embassy and Thai police raided venues in Bangkok.

This followed a human trafficking case where a Japanese national had been offered a job in the capital. In brief, he ended up working for a Yakuza call centre gang.

This scam operation targeted wealthy and elderly Japanese people in Japan.

Purporting to offer them health services at an attractive charge, the scheme was a ruse to obtain their banking details and consequently pilfer their savings.

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