Bangkok - A 53-year-old Japanese man was arrested in the Thai resort town of Pattaya on Monday on suspicion of stealing cash and other items from a missing compatriot who is feared dead, police said Sunday.
A body was found Wednesday that Thai police believe is that of Hiroshi Nakazono, 67.
Toshihiko Sasaki was arrested Dec 18 and indicted Friday by the Chonburi Provincial Court on charges of stealing 3 million Yens in cash and belongings, including a portable computer, from Nakazono, the police said.
Police said the two men were acquaintances. Nakazono ran a real estate business in Tokyo.
The police said they found the body suspected to be Nakazono on Wednesday in Chonburi Province's Sattahip District.
Forensic experts were in the process of identifying the body using Nakazono's dental records and DNA analysis. As the body showed signs of an unnatural death, the police suspect Nakazono was murdered at a different location before his body was dumped at the site it was found.
The police said Sasaki will be questioned on suspicion of murder if the body is identified as that of Nakazono.
Sasaki has denied involvement in Nakazono's death, telling police the money was his own and that Nakazono gave him the computer.
He told the police he has been living on personal savings in Pattaya with a Thai girlfriend for about two years.
Nakazono, who had regularly visited Pattaya over the years, entered the country on Dec 14 with 3.5 million yen that he planned to deposit in a bank to be eligible for a long-stay visa, the police said, citing information from his two sons.
His family lost contact with him after he went to Pattaya, according to the police.
The Japanese Embassy in Thailand has yet to confirm the identity of the body.
By Daily Yomiuri/Asia News Network