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Phuket police nab notorious “Junior’ gang



PHUKET: Police last night arrested six members of a teenage gang known for allegedly committing many robberies and often threatening to kill their victims if they did not co-operate.

Known as the “Junior Gang”, the four teenage men and two teen women were charged with committing gang robbery and being in possession of unlicensed firearms.

All six confessed to the charges.

Among the six were Karin Surapee and Sompong Maiyachana, both 19 and from Phang Nga.

The others, from Nakhon Sri Thammarat and Ranong provinces, cannot be named as they are under 18 years old.

Their victims were Thai and foreign, said Patong Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao.

“Their most recent robbery was committed in Anuphas Golf Ville in Kathu on Wednesday night,” he said.

Police also arrested the father of one of the boys at a workers’ camp in Soi Sombat on Pisit Koranee Road in Patong.

He now stands charged with harboring known criminals.

“He was part of the gang. He knew what they were doing and he let them stay in his house,” said Col Arayapan.

In the man’s house police seized as evidence four handmade guns, many bullets, a bullet-proof vest, an array of weapons and knives, a wig, and many Buddha images and mobile phones.

Officers also found a pot of boiled water with kratom leaves, which is commonly boiled to create steam for ingestion as a stimulant.

Col Arayapan said the gang committed robberies all over Phuket.

They divided their spoils and went their separate ways until the money ran out, then regrouped to commit another robbery, he said.

“They sometimes worked with other known gangs in Patong, including the Muang Patong Gang and the Kabot Gang,” said Col Arayapan.

Both those gangs were allegedly run by Anucha Aunruen, 30, who has so far evaded arrest, added the colonel.

— Yodsak Jarana


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