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Phuket: The dark history of Moshe David

PHUKET: Moshe David, arrested yesterday (December 5) on suspicion that he murdered fellow Hungarian Peter Reisz in Phuket, was apparently already well known to both Hungarian and Thai police.


Alasdair Forbes

Thursday 6 December 2012, 12:36PM


One of Hungary’s most respected newspapers, Népszabadság, reported yesterday (December 5) that he was once pulled in and questioned by Thai police after the disappearance in Thailand of a Hungarian billionaire, Laszlo Csapai.

Mr Csapai, the newspaper wrote, owns “more than a hundred stores in Europe” and was spotted on CCTV at an airport in Thailand with David, shortly before he disappeared. But with nothing more to go on, Thai police had to release him.

It also reported that “Moshe David” is not the only name he goes by. He also has the name Gábor Németh, and he is wanted in Hungary for fleeing the country after being sentenced to seven years in jail for fraud.

Ferenc Chilko, a former policeman turned private investigator, was hired by Csapai’s family to try to locate the missing billionaire. He is quoted by the newspaper as saying that David is, on first meeting him, a man of considerable charm.

But, he warns, David “looks for people who have more money than average, and only cares about one thing: how to take that money away from them.

“He has suave manners, good interpersonal abilities. He’s a sleek man,” he is quoted as saying.

The newspaper reports that Peter Reisz realised at some point after going into business with David that the sleek exterior hid a sinister interior, and he became very frightened.

He contacted the Hungarian Embassy in Bangkok to alert them to his fears, and handed them a letter setting out in great detail why he feared for his life.

The newspaper says, “According to some sources, the consulate only told him to be careful and to check in with them every other day, while others say he was advised to return to Hungary.”

According to the investigator, Mr Chilko, Mr Reisz also secretly recorded a “brutal” conversation with David in which the latter told him, “You could end up like Csapai.” Mr Chilko declined to say how he got hold of a copy of the recording.

Although local reports so far have theorised that Reisz may have tried to rip off his partner by forging his signature on land ownership transfer papers, the newspaper reports, somewhat mysteriously, that “several factors suggest that the … background was actually over the failure of a loan transaction; Nemeth wanted to borrow more from Mr Reisz, but he said no, and that was his undoing.”

Thailand and Hungary have no extradition treaty, but Népszabadság reports that whenever a Hungarian is expelled from Thailand, the Hungarian authorities are alerted.

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