German couple mugged at Nai Harn

NAI HARN: German tourists Rainer and Susanne Siebert were beaten unconscious and robbed in broad daylight yesterday as they walked near Le Royal Méridien Phuket Yacht Club at about 3 pm. The couple spoke with the Gazette today at Phuket International Hospital, where Mr Siebert is recovering from a head injury and his wife is recovering from two fractures to her right arm, which required surgery to correct. “We were walking down the road to catch a bus back from Nai Harn beach, when one of two men standing beside the road shouted a greeting in English,” Mr Siebert, 47, said. “Seconds later, everything went black.” Mrs Siebert, 42, said she caught a glimpse of two attackers approaching from behind before seeing her husband being struck on the back of the neck with a heavy wooden stick, the blow knocking him unconscious. She, too, was then struck unconscious. Minutes later, as Mr Siebert was regaining consciousness, two English tourists passing on a motorbike saw the couple by the roadside, and quickly went to call an ambulance and notify police. By that time, however, the robbers had made off with a camcorder, two cameras and a belt bag containing about 450 baht. Mrs Siebert described all four attackers as Asian. Of the two men who attacked from behind, one was wearing a white shirt and the other a blue shirt. Both were in their 20s or 30s, she said. Pol Capt Phongnarin Suthin, of Chalong Police Station, told the Gazette, “We are questioning people in the area, such as tourists and staff at the Yacht Club.” He added that police believe the attack was the work of a gang who carried out a similar mugging in the area a couple of weeks ago. This is Mr and Mrs Siebert’s first visit to Thailand. They arrived on June 8 and will return to Germany on June 30. Showing remarkable composure while recovering at the hospital, the couple said that they were unperturbed by the attack and would come back to Thailand. “We have met many friendly people here,” said Mr Siebert. “This is not a problem peculiar to Thailand. There are bandits all over the world.”

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