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Phuket Police chasing ‘missing money’ from currency exchange haul

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Police chasing ‘missing money’ from currency exchange haul | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Phuket Police are still investigating where the remainder of the two million baht in foreign currencies has disappeared to from the robbery of a currency exchange booth in Karon in November.

At a press conference at Chalong Police Station yesterday, Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangku said his officers were still investigating where most of the money had gone, though they already had confirmation that some of it had been used to fund a spending spree.

The press conference was called to present to the media the two suspects who were arrested for the crime on Sunday.

Amnard “Tor” Ponpramun, 21, and Kriangsak “Jae” Jintaphakul, 25, were both arrested after a traveller’s cheque marked as stolen in the robbery was presented at the Siam Commercial Bank branch at the Tesco Lotus supercenter on the bypass road.

Amnard, an employee of the bank, was on duty at the currency exchange booth when the robbery was carried out.

Both men have been charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery at night.

Chalong Police seized foreign banknotes with a total value of about 30,000 baht from Kriangsak’s house, said Maj Gen Chonasit.

“We are still investigating where the rest of the two million baht has gone,” he said.

Chalong Police Superintendent Krittapad Dej-intorrasorn said, “We will find the rest of the money. We will check bank accounts and any other way they may have hidden it.”

However, Col Krittapad quickly added, “We suspect that some of the money has already been spent on a variety of things, such as a Honda CBR motorbike costing more than 100,000 baht, four BB guns and ya ice [crystal methamphetamine], which our investigation has revealed that Kriangsak was a regular [user] of.”

He added that Kriangsak also bought two gold-plated rings, a Nokia mobile phone costing about 8,000 baht, and new computer costing 24,000 baht – paid for in cash.

In front of the press, Amnard confessed to Maj Gen Chonasit that the robbery was a spur-of-the-moment idea, because they both needed money.

Col Krittapad explained that a combination of factors pointed police to the two suspects.

“On the day the booth was robbed, a lot of money was kept in the safe. It had not been transferred to the head office for many days. That money should have been taken to the head office every day.

“Also, just seconds before Kriangsak broke into the booth, the light was turned off by Amnard. Actually, it was his colleague Wilaiwan Khao-ong, 22, whose regular duty was to switch off the light,” he said.

Kriangsak hid his face from Wilaiwan and covered her eyes with tape, but he was not afraid for Amnard to see his face, said the colonel.

“Other factors included that Amnard did not seem to make make any attempt to dissuade Kriangsak from opening the safe, and during police questioning on the day, Amnard seemed very nervous, so the investigating officers kept an eye on him,” he said.

In the end, however, it was not until Kriangsak’s sister-in-law on Saturday presented a traveller’s cheque marked as stolen that police could move in and make their arrests.

The sister-in-law, whose name was not reported, presented the cheque for cashing at 2pm.

When she returned at 4pm, Chalong Police officers were waiting for her.

“During questioning by police, she confirmed that her brother-in-law had given her the cheque and she confirmed that he looked similar to the police sketch of the suspect,” said Col Krittapad.

Following this confirmation, his officers moved in and arrested the two suspects, he added.

— Atchaa Khamlo

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Hua Hin

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain

May Taylor

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Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | The Thaiger

The Thailand Meteorological Department issued a weather warning for southern Thailand with torrential rain forecast to hit the region throughout the weekend. The heavy monsoon over the Gulf of Thailand and south of the country is being blamed for the rough weather, with the TMD predicting flash flooding in many areas.

(Phuket, Hat Yai and Hua Hin’s forecast below)

“Waves are expected to reach 2 metres in height in the lower Gulf of Thailand and possibly higher at the height of the storm. Ships are advised to proceed with caution.”

For the north and northeast of Thailand, the TMD forecasts strong winds and cooler mornings as the arrival of the “winter” season, coupled with a moderate high-pressure system, causes temperatures to dip.

Hua Hin’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Phuket’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

Hat Yai’s five day forecast

Southern Thailand braces for rough weather and rain | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation | weather.com

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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