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Cops nab rape, robbery gang



TUNG TONG: Police have arrested a gang of six youths who last week forced their way into two homes in Kathu, where they stole cash and valuables and gang-raped one female occupant at knifepoint.

The arrests were announced during a press conference led by Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Decha Budnampetch at Tung Tong Police Station late Tuesday afternoon.

The suspects were identified as gang leader Thanarat “New” Mektap, 19, and his associates Pongpon “Fear” Chuayrod, 21; Taweerungsawang “M” Mitmuang, 21, and his brother Buncha “X” Mitmuang, 19; Somrak “Rak” Rattanapai, 18; and one minor, aged 17.

The first attack occurred just before midnight on Friday at a student lodging near Prince of Songkla University’s Phuket campus in Kathu.

During questioning, New told police that Fear, X, Rak and M, armed with guns and knives, threatened a student to hand over goods with a reported value of 73,650 baht. Sixteen stolen items, all later recovered, included a mobile phone, notebook computer and gold chain.

Gang leader New did not take part in the robbery, nor did the minor.

In the second attack, about 9:30 pm the following day in Kathu Village 1, Fear, Rak and M raped a 23-year-old student while the others stole goods with a reported value of 45,260 baht, the press release said.

An investigation by Tung Tong Police led to the arrest of gang leader New in a wooden sala outside Chalermprakiet School, near Saphan Hin.

After questioning New, police arrested the other gang members. Fear, Rak and X were arrested at the 99 Hotel on Kra Rd in Phuket City. M was arrested at his rented abode on Luang Por Chaem Rd in Chalong.

In relation to the first attack, Fear, X, Rak and M were charged with armed robbery and using a vehicle to escape.

In relation to the second attack, each gang member was charged with his part in the rape, but alll were charged with armed robbery and using a vehicle to escape.

All six confessed to all charges, said the police press release, and are now being held at Tung Tong police station as the investigation continues.


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