Peruvian seeks Thai justice as yakuza thugs get ‘light’ punishment

A Peruvian man is seeking justice from the Thai authorities after five Japanese yakuza thugs received light sentences for assaulting him at a restaurant in Bangkok. The victim suffered severe injuries and spent more than 400,000 baht on treatment.

The 35 year old Peruvian man, Tetsuo Kobashikawa, contacted non-profit organisation Saimai Survive for help seeking justice. The organisation accompanied him to a meeting with Kosonlawat Intuchanyong, the director of the Office of Rights Protection and Legal Aid for the People, to file a complaint on the matter.

Kobashikawa revealed that he was born in Japan but later became a Peruvian citizen. He opened a karaoke bar and a restaurant with one of the attackers. However, their partnership ended because the attacker allegedly tried to take over the business.

Kobashikawa claims that his former business partner joined a yakuza gang in Japan, which engaged in scams in their home country and money laundering in Thailand through various businesses. His former partner then returned to Thailand and assaulted him on October 18, 2022.

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Kobashikawa recounted the incident, saying it took place at a restaurant in the Phra Kanong neighbourhood of Bangkok. His former business partner and four Japanese yakuza members came to the restaurant while Kobashikawa ate with his friends. They attacked him with golf clubs inside the restaurant, dragged him outside, and continued to beat him until he lost consciousness.

Kobashikawa was admitted to the hospital with a broken nose, severe eye injuries and bruises all over his body. He was hospitalised for more than two months and paid more than 400,000 baht in treatment fees out of his pocket.

Light punishment

Kobashikawa filed a complaint against the five attackers at Khlongton Police Station. The punishment for the attackers was officially announced earlier this year, and Kobashikawa felt that it was too light compared to what he had lost. Each of the attackers was sentenced to two months in prison but then temporarily released under probation.

As well as filing a complaint about the attack, Kobashikawa reported their money laundering operation to both Thai and Japanese police. However, neither took action on his complaint, saying he did not have enough evidence. Kobashikawa added that he also faced a death threat from the yakuza gang.

Kobashikawa’s Thai friend named Deer told Saimai Survive and the authorities that he was also physically attacked. Deer said it occurred on October 15, 2022, three days before Kobashikawa’s incident. The gang threw a glass ashtray and a glass bottle at him, and they also pressed a burning cigarette into his eyes.

Deer gave officers the names of four of the five attackers, including the gang leader named Shunji, Sawaya, who overstayed his visa in Thailand, Hidennobu who worked as a chef at a restaurant in the Thong Lo area, and Takeshi who was the youngest member and did not take part in the attack.

Saimai Survive founder Ekkaphop Lueangprasert plans to gather evidence on the money laundering operation to report it to the Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police (RTP), Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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