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Police interview the couple robbed near Bang Tao beach

Phuket Tourists Robbed at Five-Star Beach, Says Restaurant Owner

Monday, August 26, 2013
PHUKET: Tourists have been robbed in Phuket's five-star region of Mai Khao by youths wielding guns and knives, a local restaurant owner said today.

Chanakan ''Yok'' Kaewkam was speaking amid reports of a similar robbery yesterday at Bang Tao, another five-star Phuket beach resort district.

''The first robbery was about two months ago,'' said Khun Yok, who runs the Pru Jeh Son restaurant in a Mai Khao beachside park.

''Chinese tourists were robbed and the youths also robbed a restaurant.''

He said the pattern was followed two weeks ago when the youths - armed with a gun and a knife - robbed Japanese tourists, then stole from two restaurants.

Lieutenant Colonel Teerawat Liamsuwan, the Deputy Superintendent of Tachatchai Police Station, which oversees the Mai Khao district, said police patrols around the area had been stepped up.

''The restaurant thefts were reported to us but in two years here, I have had no reports of tourists being robbed,'' he said.

Khun Yok, a long-time Mai Khao resident, said he believed the tourists were robbed as they rode bicycles around a scenic wetlands area not far from the five-star resorts.

Earlier this month, Thailand's Chief Commissioner, General Adul Saengsingkaew, promised that Phuket would gain an extra 700 police officers to take account of the need to protect tourists on the island.

More recently, Phuket police were urged to be more watchful of teenagers and the unemployed.

At Bang Tao yesterday, two interns at a five-star resort told police they had been robbed of their mobile telephones by two men on a motorcycle as they jogged not far from Laguna Phuket.

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