BANGKOK: An Israeli man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in Thailand after the dismembered body of a compatriot — a former policeman who had been missing — was discovered in his home, police said Sunday.
Investigators said they acted on a request from the Israeli embassy and a relative to search for the missing man last week.
Police Major General Suthin Suppuang, acting commander of the Crime Suppression Division, said the trail led Saturday to an Israeli man’s house in Nonthaburi, a northern satellite city of the capital Bangkok.
“One reason we were able to find him was because there was an effort to use a credit card of the missing man,” he told AFP.
“We searched his house and found the body of a missing Israeli chopped into pieces and placed in three plastic bags,” he added.
Suthin said the man had confessed to murder, describing the motive as a “love triangle” — a phrase Thais commonly use to describe a romantic quarrel between three people.
The arrested man’s son was also present in the flat, Suthin said, adding he was currently being treated as a witness rather than an accomplice.
Police Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen, Thailand’s deputy national police spokesman, identified the victim as 62-year-old Eliyahu Cohen and the arrested man as Simon Beton, 52.
He told AFP a relative first reported Beton missing on Wednesday and that Thailand’s police chief Chaktip Chaijinda has ordered his officers to “meticulously conduct an investigation into this case”.
The grim case has similarities to another murder investigation involving foreigners that was launched in September after a mummified, dismembered body was found in a freezer in a Bangkok flat.
Three foreigners inside the building were arrested.
They had fake or out of date American and British passports and officials have so far struggled to identify their nationalities.