The body of a former Israeli police chief was found encased in concrete in a house in Nonthaburi province on Saturday afternoon.
The ghoulish discovery came four days after Eliyahu Cohen, 63, was reported missing. Police said Mr Cohen had last been seen at his apartment at Thana City Hotel in Bangkok’s Bang Phlad district (Soi Jaransanitwong 40) on the evening of November 8.
On Friday, officials from the Israeli Embassy filed a report with the Crime Suppression Division in Bangkok. Police soon turned the focus of their investigation to a person of interest called, Mr Biton, after they discovered that he had used Mr Cohen’s credit card to buy packs of mothballs, black plastic bags and razors at a department store in the Rattanathibet area. At a shopping mall in Chaeng Watthana, he also purchased a travel bag with the stolen credit card.
Mr Biton, also an Israeli national, was apprehended at his residence in the Pattrawan housing estate in Lahan subdistrict on Saturday where he had been living with his 17-year-old son for over a year, the Bangkok Post reported.
Initially, Mr Biton, denied any involvement in the disappearance of his friend. However, police noticed bloodstains on the hinge of his door and detected an unusual odour coming from inside his house. A closer inspection revealed freshly poured concrete near a bathroom under the stairs.
When police broke up the concrete, they found the body of the missing Eliyahu Cohen. His dismembered body parts had been wrapped in two black plastic bags. Mr Biton later confessed to having killed his friend in a fit of jealousy on Tuesday after learning that Mr Cohen had had an affair with his girlfriend.
The Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post wrote in an article that Mr Biton “is known to be related to drug smuggling, and had been charged in the past with trying to conceal the body of another murdered Israeli in Thailand.”
According to the report, Mr Cohen was sentenced to life in prison by a Thai court in 2004 for murdering his ex-wife but was granted a royal pardon in 2012. He is, once again, facing murder charges. This time for the murder of his friend. Mr Biton is currently being held in police custody at the Bang Bua Thong Police Sation.