Japanese fugitive Yagi arrested in Pattaya after embezzlement, dramatic escape

Picture courtesy of TMN Cable TV Pattaya.

Pattaya was the scene of a dramatic arrest yesterday, as its police apprehended a 35 year old Japanese tourist. Yuki Yagi was not only wanted back home in Japan for an embezzlement case involving over 20 million yen (4.8 million baht), but he was also on the run after escaping the custody of Bangkok police by stealing a police car and fleeing to Pattaya.

The incident kicked off in Central Pattaya, where Yagi was located in a rental room on the fifth floor of an undisclosed hotel. Pattaya Police, led by Police Major General Thanit Thaiwatcharamat, the Commander-in-Chief of the Immigration Bureau, had been on the alert for Yagi due to his involvement in a significant fraud case in Japan.

His alleged embezzlement amounted to over 20 million yen. To secure Yuki Yagi’s arrest, Thai police had collaborated closely with the Japanese Embassy. Their efforts led to Yagi’s initial capture in Bangkok on September 7.

The tale, however, took a surprising turn at the Ratchada Criminal Court on September 9. Following his hearing, Yagi was transported to the Suan Phlu Immigration Office. Around 11.17am, complaining of leg pain, he managed to convince the officer driving the car to fetch a wheelchair for him. Seizing his opportunity, Yagi sprang from the back seat, commandeered the vehicle, and made his getaway, reported The Pattaya News.

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The ensuing escape was not without its perils. Yagi collided with officers stationed at the entrance of the Immigration Office, causing them minor injuries. Unfazed, Yagi continued his escape, making his way to Pattaya.

Upon investigating further, the police discovered that the Japanese man had overstayed his visa for an unspecified period. Currently, Yagi remains in the custody of Pattaya Police. Following any legal proceedings in Thailand about his daring escape, Yagi will be extradited to Japan.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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