Real-Life Face/Off Fugitive Caught in Thailand

Lawyer nabbed by immigration cops who noticed something ... off
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 29, 2016 9:55 AM CDT

A Japanese lawyer who police say altered his appearance through plastic surgery to escape arrest for an alleged stock share manipulation scheme more than a decade ago has been captured, Thai police said Friday. Thailand's Immigration Bureau announced that Yasuo Tsubaki, sought by Japanese authorities for securities fraud amounting to more than $116 million from 2001 to 2005, was arrested when he sought to renew his Thai visa on Wednesday, the AP reports. He fled to Thailand in 2007. Displaying old and new photos of the 62-year-old Tsubaki, police alleged that after his escape, the fugitive had altered his appearance through plastic surgery, likening him to the characters in the 1997 movie Face/Off.

A police rep says immigration officials became suspicious when they noticed Tsubaki's face didn't match his passport photo and checked his profile, which is when they discovered a Japanese warrant for his arrest, the Bangkok Post notes. Tsubaki has been living in an apartment in a suburb of Bangkok and used a cellphone number and bank accounts that were under the names of various Thai citizens. Tsubaki and his alleged accomplices bought shares in OHT Inc., the electric testing equipment company for which he worked, to drive up their price, then sold them to make a profit, a scam popularly known as "pump and dump." Tsubaki is set to be sent back to Japan on Monday. (More Thailand stories.)

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