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Feb 11, 2019

Police Say Four Persons Were Involved in Yanai Robbery/Murder

The Belize Police Department is leaving no stones unturned in an effort to solve the murder of nineteen-year-old Masaki Yanai.  The UB architecture student and his father, restaurateur Takayuki Yanai were both gunned down on Thursday night outside of the family home on Park Avenue in Buttonwood Bay.  It is believed that three men traveling in an unidentified vehicle attacked the father and son duo as they discharged groceries from their parked Toyota Forerunner.  Despite detaining a person of interest over the weekend, that individual has since been released from police custody for want of evidence.  Earlier today, Assistant Superintendent Alejandro Cowo provided a brief update on the progress of the investigation thus far.


Alejandro Cowo

ASP Alejandro Cowo, O.C., C.I.B., Belize City

“Reference that murder investigation, police have been in the Buttonwood Bay area since the incident happened where several surveillance cameras have been viewed and up to now, there was only one person that was detained.  He was interviewed and he had to be released because of no direct evidence of his involvement in this murder.”



“So the surveillance footage, they are offering nothing tangible?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“It is something that we are still looking at them individually.  There’s a number of them that we are viewing at this moment.  Mr. Yanai is still admitted at the hospital in a stable condition.”



“Are you all looking at this as a robbery turned murder?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, we have established that it was a robbery.  On Friday, I informed you that a waist bag containing an undisclosed amount of cash and other personal items was stolen from him.”



“Are you all looking at it as some type of organized criminal enterprise to have pounced on Mr. Yanai as they did?”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes, we do believe and based on what we have gathered so far, yes we have known that apparently there were persons in the immediate area before the incident happened and they came back again a second time.”



“Okay, so like a reconnaissance or surveillance was being done.”


ASP Alejandro Cowo

“Yes.  What we have gathered so far is that it was four of them, actually three that went inside of the house and there was a vehicle waiting with someone inside of the vehicle.”


Commissioner of Police Chester Williams is hosting a community meeting on Thursday evening in Buttonwood Bay to address the crime situation in that neighborhood.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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