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Four held for trying to rob currency exchange firm

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET TOWN: Four men who had lost money gambling decided on Saturday to take an even bigger gamble – they held up a currency exchange company. But their luck was still bad. They came away empty-handed and were nabbed soon afterwards by police. The four, identified by police as Jaroen Sakjapitak, 42, from Sakhon Nakhon, Jantai Singkam, 34, from Loei, Yodchat Chanwerat, 27, and Narin Ujaroenpong, 28, both from Bangkok, held up the Yanisa Travel Service Partnership on Chana Jaroen Rd near the Robinson Ocean department Store at 4 pm on Saturday. Pol Maj Amnuan Kriwutthianant of the Phuket Town Police Station said Somjai Junapichart, 33, the owner of Yanisa Travel, was behind the counter with her sister Somjit when the attempted robbery took place. There was also one customer, a woman, in the office at the time. Two men walked in. One of them, later identified as Jaroen, pointed a pistol at the staff. He herded the customer behind the counter and ordered K. Somjai to open the safe. The other, later identified as Jantai, who was carrying a knife, climbed on the desk and smashed the security camera. The robbers’ luck began to turn sour when K. Somjai managed to press a button to raise the alarm at the police station. Then, while she was opening the safe at gunpoint, a male customer walked in, took one look at the situation and ran out to phone the police. The two robbers, worried that the police might arrive at any moment, left the office empty-handed, leapt on a motorbike and roared off. Acting swiftly, officers arrested the pair outside Wat Sansook, about 800 meters from Yanisa Travel. They had dumped the motorbike and were climbing into a pick-up truck driven by their two accomplices. The four admitted to their parts in the attempt to carry out the robbery.


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