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Police & Business Sector Offer Cash Reward for Arrest

Police & Business Sector Offer Cash Reward for Arrest
February 09
09:24 2019 NEWSPAPER- Marion Ali -

The Belize Police Department, with support from the business community, is offering a cash reward for relevant information that leads to the arrest of those responsible for Thursday evening’s robbery and deadly shooting upon a Japanese family off the Philip Goldson Highway.

Police Commissioner, Chester Williams posted on his Facebook page that Police “have not been able to get any good lead as witnesses are being very tight lipped and assured that any information will be kept strictly confidential.” Williams welcomed anyone with such information to inbox him under his Facebook name, Clyde Williams, or to contact him at

Takayuki Yanai, 53, had just arrived at his Park Avenue home in the Buttonwood Bay area on the northside of Belize City around 6:00 Thursday evening, and was in the process of taking out grocery items from his vehicle when robbers, who were reportedly inside a parked vehicle on the street attacked him. There was a struggle for Yanai’s leather waistbag, which contained the day’s proceeds from his restaurant, Taka’s Kitchen. His son, Masaki Yanai, 19, who was inside the residence, heard the commotion outside and ran to his father’s aid and that was when one of the robbers shot both men, killing Masaki and critically wounding Takayuki.

Head of Belize City’s Crimes Investigations Branch (CIB), Assistant Superintendent of Police, Alejandro Cowo told the media that investigators believe the act was not a random one and that they are looking into the possibility that the robbers might have been studying the family’s movements for a while. He pointed to several other incidents that have taken place along that area where robbers seem to have chosen for their attacks. He also said that Police have upgraded their presence in the area and that a mobile patrol vehicle had just passed the vicinity where the attack occurred. Cowo also said that Police are reviewing a number of surveillance recordings from the area to try and identify the robbers.

Masaki Yanai was an Engineering student at the University of Belize and in the wake of his murder, President of UB, Clement Sankat has sent out a press release, denouncing the attack and murder.

“It is with indignation and deep regret that I have to announce the death of one of our students Masaki Yanai. …Masaki was a bright, engaging and promising student. His peers described him as ‘an individual whose kind spirit positively impacted the lives of those he knew.'”

Takayuki Yanai, an international chef, moved his family to Belize about 15 years ago and before he opened his own restaurant, used to prepare the Japanese meals at Chon Saan Palace.

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