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A woman and a man who allegedly watched the gems dealer at his hotel

PHOTO ALBUM Phuket 30m Baht Gem Heist: Four Suspects Arrested, Heading to Phuket

Monday, May 14, 2012
UPDATE: 'Trang Gang' Photo Album Above

FOUR people in a rented van sped through a police checkpoint in Trang today and were arrested by pursing Highway Patrol police. A Russian, a Turk, a Spaniard and a Malaysian woman were arrested. At one stage, the woman tried to flee police on foot. The Thai driver was ruled out as a suspect.

Original Report

PHUKET: Three people - said to be a Canadian woman and two Canadian men - have been arrested at a police checkpoint in Trang, a province to the south of Phuket, when officers stopped a car and searched it late this afternoon.

The three are on their way back to Phuket tonight under police escort. It is believed the 30 million in gems, stolen in a daylight robbery on Phuket, were recovered.

A media presentation of the suspects is likely to be held on Phuket tomorrow.

Senior police in Trang and on Phuket declined to confirm tonight that the people suspected of carrying out the 30 million baht gems robbery on Phuket today had been arrested.

But two independent sources confirmed to Phuketwan that the three people arrested were the ones accused of making a clean getaway by road after snatching gems worth 30 million baht from a parked vehicle outside Phuket's Bic C supermarket this morning.

Trang police stopped the car in Trang township, at a checkpoint outside a school. It is not clear at this stage whether the suspects attempted to escape.

The owner of the gems, Bangkok jeweller Tongsak Jidtakanlern, 46, told police he parked his Toyota Avanza in the street behind Phuket's Big C supermarket about 11am today and went to have lunch.

He heard the alarm sounding from his vehicle and emerged to see the three thieves making off in a grey Toyota Vios with two bags containing the gems.

Khun Tongsak said the jewellery, including some of his best pieces, was not insured. He had been putting the gems on a display at a week-long jewellery fair at Phuket's Central Festival shopping mall, not far from Big C.

Khun Tongsak told police he thought Phuket was ''a safe place.'' It is believed the thieves had been watching Khun Tonsak and observing his habits since the gems fair opened on May 10.

Phuket police said they suspected three Canadians - a woman and two men - had pulled off the daring raid. According to a gps, police have been led to believe the original car used in the robbery was still in Patong this afternoon.

The car was rented from a hirer in Patong by a Thai woman. Details of the robbery and whether the Canadians admit the theft are expected to be revealed tomorrow on Phuket, probably at Phuket Police Headquarters.

Comments

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officer dibble is on the case. You couldn't make it up could you?

Posted by Ironside on May 14, 2012 19:47

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Amazing, how they can catch these thieves, but fail to capture the ones that sell fakes every day in Phuket under the noses of the police...

Posted by Tbs on May 14, 2012 20:10

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you could not make it up.

Still amazing the mentality to leave 30 million in uninsured gems in the back seat of your vehicle.

Posted by michael on May 15, 2012 03:31

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Amazing caught them so quick.

Posted by PhuketExpat on May 15, 2012 06:49

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Check out the mickey mouse t-shirt, a bonnie and clyde team they are not, i'd guess there was a highly motivating reward in the mix,and never protect 30 million with a car door lock.

Posted by traveller on May 15, 2012 07:46

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Shame the Royal Thai Police were not that expedient of recovering the gems stolen from Saudi.

Posted by Graham on May 15, 2012 11:49

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One correction: this was not a robbery. A robbery requires force or fear to be used upon a person. This was simply theft from an unattended vehicle.

Posted by Joe on May 15, 2012 15:32


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