Phuket Burmese decry gold shop bandits
PHUKET: A crowd of onlookers at the re-enactment of the robbery of Yong Chuan gold shop in Rassada shouted disparaging remarks and denounced the prime suspect as he retraced his getaway from the Karn Keha Housing estate yesterday.
“You have shamed our community” and “We’re glad you finally surrendered,” were shouted at the suspect, named by police only as “Koson”.
Phuket Police guarded Mr Koson from the angry crowd at the housing estate, just north of Rassada Pier.
Following his confession to police for the robbery, Mr Koson showed Phuket Provincial Police commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul and Phuket City Police Superintendent Sermphan Sirikong, among other officers, how he pulled up outside the gold shop with his accomplice, “Mek”.
Mr Koson showed how he followed Mr Mek into the shop and pointed an air pistol at the 64-year-old shop owner Sirinan Sirikolworakul and said, “This is a robbery.”
Mr Mek then smashed the display counters with a hammer and snatched handfuls of gold necklaces and bracelets and stuffed them into the pockets of an apron he was wearing.
The pair exited the gold shop and sped off to the nearby Sin Paiboonchai fish processing plant with Mr Koson driving.
The pair pulled into the fish plant parking lot and changed clothes before running off to a nearby motorbike taxi rank, leaving the air gun, apron and their robbery wardrobe behind.
The pair divided the loot before jumping on taxi motorbikes and splitting up, Mr Koson said.
Maj Gen Chonasit said that police had received information of Mr Mek’s whereabouts and were close to making an arrest.
He also said that Mr Mek had attempted to rob the same gold shop before, citing that Ms Sirinan had told officers that he had used an electroshock weapon to carry out the robbery.
“Meanwhile, gold shop owners must improve the security systems at their stores. Phuket Police earlier this year called in gold shop owners in Phuket and suggested that they install smash-proof display counters so that jewelry could not be stolen this way,” he added
Case investigator Lt Col Prawit Engchua of Phuket City Police confirmed to the Phuket Gazette that the gold stolen from the Yong Chuan shop was insured.
However, he added that an accurate value of items stolen has yet to be confirmed by the shop owner.
So far reported estimates have ranged from 2.9 to 3.9 million baht.
“They are still conducting a full inventory check to determine exactly which items are missing,”
Lt Col Prawit said.
The stolen necklaces recovered in the arrest of Mr Koson’s wife, Moe Moe San, aka “Mooza”, in Bangkok on Wednesday, will be returned to Ms Sirinan as all the items recovered bore a stamp confirming they were the property of the Yong Chuan store, he added.
Mr Koson surrendered voluntarily to Phuket Police yesterday, saying that he wanted to see his wife again before she died from a heart condition.
Mr Koson has had two children with Ms Mooza, one is his 13-year-old daughter who is now staying with his sister who runs a small curry shop in Rassada.
His other child is in Burma, as is Ms Mooza’s third child, from a previous relationship.
Mr Koson faces charges of gang robbery and carrying a weapon in a public place, as does Mr Mek if he is captured.
Mrs Mooza has been charged with possession of stolen goods.
— Kritsada Mueanhawong
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