CHIANG MAI: If you happened to have been out drinking in Chiang Mai over the last few months and, after a few too many beers, decided to do the responsible thing and pull over in your car for a rest to sober up before weaving on home, then you may have come across the Buffalo Ladyboy Gang.
The gang has not only robbed more than 40 drunks, but also performed oral sex on their slumbering victims to boot.
Police at Muang Chiang Mai Police Station have this year been receiving a slew of reports of robberies from sheepish men who claim that while they were sleeping in their cars, a group of four rather camp crooks have broken in and made off with their possessions.
As all the attacks happened very late at night and the victims were often three sheets to the wind, police had been unable to bring enough evidence to apprehend the gang – despite having a good idea of who they were.
On August 20, however, this all changed when Sirichai Wutinansurasing, 34, walked into the station with a familiar tale of woe.
K. Sirichai told police that the night before he had been out on the town in Chiang Mai. Setting off home, he realised that he was in no condition to drive. Sensibly, he parked his car on the side of the Chiang Mai-Lampang road to sleep off the effects of all the alcohol he had consumed. Not so sensibly, he forgot to lock the car door.
The next thing he knew there were people in his car hunting for his valuables. Perhaps more worrying was the fact that one of the intruders was fumbling with his belt. Instantly sobering up, K. Sirichai fought off the intruders, who ran away while shrieking girlishly.
K. Sirichai noticed one of the four attackers was also morbidly obese, and thus had difficulty keeping up with his friends. K. Sirichai also got a good look at the man who tried to molest him.
On hearing these graphic descriptions, police instantly realised that this fitted all the hallmarks of an attack by the infamous Gang Kratoy Khwai, or the “Buffalo Ladyboy Gang”, so named because of their portly member.
Shown the police black book of known criminal offenders who happened to be of the “third gender”, K. Sirichai was soon able to pinpoint the perpetrators.
Chiang Mai Muang District Police Deputy Superintendent Bunyawat Kertklam then led a team of officers to the gang’s known hideout – a dormitory in Saraphee District.
There police arrested Thanaphat “June” Thepawan, 38; Kritsada “Oh” Wichai, 25; Monchai “Mew” Lamnuan, 24, and Kritichai “Nong Nam Daeng” Kanthaya, 22, the Kratoy Khwai from whom the gang got its name. Police also seized 15 mobile phones, two laptop computers, a gold chain and a number of pawn shop tickets for mobile phones and jewelry.
Confronted with the evidence, the suspects admitted everything. They said that they had robbed at least 40 victims. Their modus operandi was to search for drunks sleeping in their cars who had forgotten to lock the doors. Finding one, they would post one man as a lookout while another took his valuables and the third restrained him. Mew told police he performed oral sex on the hapless drunk as a token of thanks for the stolen loot.
All four were charged with robbery, but it was not reported whether there were any charges of sexual assault.
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