German man arrested in Thailand over death of pensioner

BANGKOK (DPA) - A German man has been arrested in Thailand on suspicion of concealing a dead body, by putting the corpse in a wooden crate before disposing of it in a canal, police said on Tuesday (Oct 22).

The 52-year-old was arrested last Saturday, Thai immigration police told reporters.

The body is believed to be that of a 77-year-old German woman. The two had flown to Thailand in May 2017 and had opened a bar together, police said.

Thai police said they acted on the recommendation of German police to arrest the man, who is wanted in Germany for credit card fraud worth €6,000 (S$9,000).

The woman's relatives in Germany had filed a missing persons report after being unable to contact her. Neither the alleged perpetrator nor the victim can be named due to strict German privacy laws.

According to the man's Thai wife, the victim died after slipping and falling in a bathroom at their home in Chonburi, some 90km south of Bangkok, in early January.

She told police that her husband had wrapped the body in a blanket and placed it in a wooden storage crate. He then took it by motorbike with a sidecar to a canal, and threw the body in, she said.

The background to the case is not clear, but police suspect the man of wanting to take the older woman's pension income for himself. They are investigating whether she was murdered.