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Source: Greg James/Wikimedia

Former Japanese Crime Lord Captured In Thailand After Photo Of Tattoos Goes Viral

By Dennis Matthew Livesey

What do tattoos and viral social media posts have in common? It turns out both are really hard to get rid of! That's a lesson one 72-year-old man recently learned the hard way. Back in the day, Shigeharu Shirai was a prominent member of a Yakuza-affiliated Japanese gang. In 2003, he allegedly murdered a rival gang leader and escaped to Thailand, where he has lived for 15 years. Shirai was married to a local woman and probably enjoying a lovely retirement โ€” until someone snapped a few pics of his distinctive tattoos as he played a game of street chess. The shutterbug posted the photos on Facebook and the post went viral. 

As luck would have it, Japanese police saw the pictures and alerted Thai authorities, who arrested Shirai.