Fugitive gang member nabbed after his tattoos go viral

BANGKOK — Thai police said they have arrested a 74-year-old fugitive Japanese gang member who was recognized when photos of his full-body tattoos were circulated online.

A police statement said Shigeharu Shirai was arrested Wednesday in a province north of Bangkok where he has been hiding for over 10 years to evade murder charges in Japan in connection with the death of a rival gang member.

His arrest apparently came after photos of him sitting around a checkers table were posted on Facebook in August last year by a Thai who was impressed by the man’s tattoos. The post was shared over 10,000 times and some users identified the former gang member.

Police Gen. Wirachai Songmetta said Japanese associates paid visits to Shirai two to three times a year, each time bearing cash gifts. He is married to a Thai woman and kept a low profile over the past decade, police said.

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