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Dragons rounded up before Phuket’s veg fest



PHUKET CITY: Three members of the so-called ‘Dragon Gang’ wanted for a string of robberies in Phuket City were arrested yesterday as part of a pre-Vegetarian Festival crackdown.

Thanachote ‘Liw’ Saekhor, 19, Kriangsak Sawasduang, 21, and Rachan Khumphum, 27, all had intricate dragons tattooed on their backs, earning the gang its police nickname.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pekad Tantipong and Phuket City Police Superintendent Wanchai Ekpornpit announced the men’s arrests at a press conference at Phuket City Police Station this morning.

The police said the gang was responsible for more than 20 cases of motorbike and cellphone theft.

The three men confessed to charges of robbery and drug possession.

Mr Liw told the press conference the gang targeted Honda Click motorcycles as well as expensive phones.

“We only chose men,” he said. “We never robbed a woman.”

The police arrested Mr Rachan in possession of ya ba (methamphetamine) after a tip-off, before rounding up the other two members.

Col Wanchai said the police had received a lot of robbery reports from teenagers in Phuket City.

“Finally, we’ve got them,” he said. “I’m quite sure this is the last robbery gang we’ll see in Phuket City.”

Maj Gen Pekad said the police would be devoting serious manpower to rounding up more criminals before the Phuket Vegetarian Festival starts next Sunday.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat


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