Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Police call in Interpol over gem heist suspects

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Police have sent a missive to Interpol to confirm whether or not three foreigners arrested for the theft of 30 million baht in gems and jewelry on Monday are wanted international felons.

The move to check with the international law coordination agency follows police seizing as evidence a notebook containing a handwritten list of dates, events and venues of upcoming gem and jewelry trade shows in a variety of countries, including Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, India, Dubai, Bahrain and Japan.

The book also listed accommodation establishments located near where the international trade shows are to be held, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul told the Phuket Gazette.

The book contained handwritten notes detailing the TFWA Asia Pacific event in Singapore, marked to be held May 13-17, the Asia Jewels Fair in Bangalore, to be held on June 8-10, followed by an event at the Brisbane Exhibition & Convention Center in Australia, slated for June 9-11.

The notebook also listed “Hitex, Hyderabad, India… June 22-24”.

The Hyderabad Jewellery Fair, scheduled to be held at the Hitex Convention Center in Hyderabad on those dates, is touted as the largest gem and jewelry fair in South India.

According to HJF organizers, last year’s event attracted more than 140 commercial buyers and sellers of diamonds, sapphires, rubies and other precious stones, fitted to jewelry or loose.

“We found the book with the list of upcoming gem and jewelry trade shows in the possession of the Mexican woman Mejia Asseneth,” Maj Gen Chonasit said.

Police arrested 57-year-old Mejia Zuluaga Maria Asseneth along with fellow Mexican national Ruben Dario Zapata Gonzalez, 40, Roslina Binti Abu Bakar, 42, from Malaysia, as well as Turkish national Riza Balkan, 49, in Trang province after the car they were travelling in failed to stop at a police checkpoint.

Trang Highway Police gave chase and forced the car to stop. Inside the car, officers found most of the stolen jewelry.

However, about 173 items with a total value of about 5mn baht is still missing.

Ms Asseneth managed to flee the scene after her initial arrest.

Police believe her to be central to the robbery and she remains at large. She may be heading south to Thailand’s border with Malaysia, said Maj Gen Chonasit.

A warrant for her arrest has been issued, he confirmed.

Police Commander Chonasit said he believed the gang were an “international crew” who were assembled expressly for committing gem heists, first in Thailand and then elsewhere around the world.

“I believe they are part of an international gang. These people met on the internet first and then met for the first time in person here in Thailand,” Maj Gen Chonasit said.

Police were continuing their search for Ms Asseneth and for the missing 5mn baht in gems and jewelry.

All three suspects have been denied police bail, Maj Gen Chonasit confirmed.

Mr Balkan is being detained by police in Trang province, where he was initially arrested, on a drugs possession charge. Col Chonasit has confirmed Mr Balkan must face the drugs charge there first before being transferred to Phuket to face charges related to the gem theft.

— Atchaa Khamlo

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Tourism6 hours ago

TAT announces 1,500 travellers arriving in Phuket July 1

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

5 million Moderna vaccines for Thailand, half of expectation

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 3: Are countries helping Thailand?

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 2: Will your country give a vaccine?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Covid-19 round-up for expats 1: Should you travel to Thailand?

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Lockdown for BKK? Demonstrations back on, Pathum Thani shooter arrested

Thailand11 hours ago

Myth busted: Drinking alcohol does not kill Covid-19 – VIDEO

Phuket12 hours ago

Power outages coming to Kathu, again

Tourism13 hours ago

List of countries by Covid-19 risk level, classified by Thailand’s DDC

Thailand13 hours ago

Legalised marijuana up next? Courts get closer to legalising kratom

Phuket14 hours ago

Phuket police raids nab suspects for allegedly having guns, drugs, kratom

World15 hours ago

Antivirus legend John McAfee apparent suicide in Spanish prison

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Thursday Covid Update: 4,108 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Bar girls in Pattaya arrested for allegedly violating Covid restrictions while live streaming

Protests16 hours ago

Gathering for 89th anniversary of constitutional monarchy

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending