Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Reputed Japanese Gangster Arrested for Explosion Aboard Thai Jetliner

November 09, 1986|United Press International

TOKYO — Police on Saturday arrested a reputed Japanese gangster who allegedly smuggled aboard a Thai International jetliner a hand grenade that exploded and caused the plane to dive nearly 5 miles.

Authorities said they arrested Seiki Nakagawa, 43, after his discharge from an Osaka hospital where he was treated for burns suffered in the Oct. 26 blast aboard the plane.

Nakagawa admitted that he accidentally pulled the pin of a grenade while trying to hide it in a rear toilet on board the Airbus A-300, police said. The jetliner was on a flight from Bangkok, Thailand, to Osaka, Japan, via the Philippines.

Nakagawa told police he panicked and threw the grenade into the restroom's waste bin.

The explosion caused the aircraft to dive 25,000 feet, injuring 62 of the 247 people aboard. The pilot managed to regain control of the plane and landed it in Osaka.

Police said Nakagawa is a member of the Suzuhide-gumi, a splinter group of Yamaguchi-gumi, Japan's largest underworld organization. They said they suspect that Nakagawa was smuggling the grenade into Japan from the Philippines as a sample preceding an illegal arms shipment.

The Yamaguchi-gumi and other Japanese underworld organizations have been known to purchase weapons in the Philippines and smuggle them into Japan.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|