Japanese man charged with murder of 2 Japanese nationals in Philippines

Authorities believe that insurance money was the motive for the murder.

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A Japanese man was charged Tuesday in court with two counts of murder for the brutal slaying of two Japanese nationals last week in the western Philippine province of Palawan, official documents obtained Wednesday showed.

The Palawan provincial prosecutor’s office alleged that 55-year-old Hiroyuki Nagahama was “the mastermind who planned and instigated the killing” of Yoshihiro Arai, 24, and Masaru Itani, 59, on Galoc Island in the northern Palawan town of Coron “upon consideration of a price, reward and/or promise.”

Authorities believe that insurance money was the motive for the May 30 murder, based on the testimony of Reynante Labampa, an associate of Nagahama since July last year.

Witnesses alleged that local men hired by Nagahama first shot the two victims and then chopped up their bodies before throwing them into the sea.

The prosecutor’s office, headed by Alen Ross Rodriguez, wrote in the documents that it finds “sufficient ground” for a case against Nagahama for alleged murder with illegally possessed firearms. Nagahama, who hails from Osaka in western Japan, has denied the allegations.

Aside from Nagahama, authorities have Labampa and three other Filipino men who witnessed or allegedly took part in the crime in their custody. At least three others are at large.

On orders of the Regional Trial Court of Palawan, Nagahama was transferred before dawn Wednesday from the police lock-up jail to the Palawan provincial jail located in the provincial capital of Puerto Princesa City.

Source: Japan Today
Image: Bank Image
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