Police arrest Mongolian thieves preying on tourists at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Police arrested Mongolian thieves repeatedly preying on and stealing from tourists at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.

Yesterday at 3pm, the Director of Suvarnabhumi Airport, Kittipong Kittikachorn, held a joint press conference with Suvarnabhumi Airport Police to announce the arrests of three members of a Mongolian gang operating at Thailand’s largest airport.

Under arrest warrants from Samut Prakan Provincial Court, police arrested 37 year old Damdin Jargalsaikhan, 51 year old Batbold Sambuu and 37 year old Batmyagmar Urtnasan – all under suspicion of theft. The arrests were made on Friday at the airport’s passenger terminal.

At 4.30pm on March 22, a Japanese victim of the gang – Koji Uetake – reported that he was robbed of 180,000 Japanese Yen that he had just exchanged at the airport’s SuperRich Currency Exchange booth.

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The victim put the Yen in a wallet in his back pocket and walked up to the fourth floor to wait for a car to pick him up. When he checked his back pocket, the cash was gone.

Officers at Suvarnabhumi Airport Police Station checked CCTV to find that after Koji exchanged money, a man – Damdin – and an unknown woman followed him from the basement floor of the Airport Rail Link to the first floor of the passenger terminal.

Damdin blocked Koji’s path while the woman – who is still at large – snatched the money.

At 11pm that day, a Japanese woman and a Thai woman, 46 year old Peretpraew Tomishaw, informed the police that they exchanged money into Yen at the Kasikorn Bank counter to the tune of 200,000 baht at 6pm, which they later realised had been stolen.

They put the money in a purse inside a handbag, placed it in a suitcase, and walked to the second floor of the parking lot. Later, they found that the money was gone.

After examining CCTV footage, police identified five suspects that followed the victims into the lift and snatched their money, including the three men who were arrested and two women who are still on the loose.

At 11am the next day, a Canadian victim – Peter Dobbs – reported that his wallet was stolen at the airport, containing credit cards, driving license, 4,000 Thai baht, 500,000 Vietnamese dong, and 200 US dollars.

Again, police examined CCTV to identify three suspects – Batgold, Batmau and a third man who is yet to be caught. The gang followed Dobbs after he exchanged the money and stole his wallet.

The next day, on March 24, police found one of the victims on the B floor of the passenger terminal, leading to the arrests of the three suspects.

Some members of the gang still haven’t been caught. Passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport are advised to keep a close watch on their belongings and money. If you lose something at Suvarnabhumi Airport, call 1155.

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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