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Police investigate ‘insider job’ in robbery of 200m yen

Oct 04. 2017
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By Supachai Phetchthewee
The Nation

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Police believe that the Monday night robbery, in which hooded armed men stole Bt197.96 million yen (Bt60 million) in cash and a brand-new Ford pickup truck from a diamond merchant’s employees at a Bangkok condominium parking lot, might be an inside job.

The perpetrators might know gold and jewellery exporter Pattharit Taerattanachai, 34, or have had access to information about his business operations, city police chief Lt-General Charnthep Sesawet said.

“Investigators don’t focus on any person or group in particular, and as of now everyone is treated as a potential suspect,” he said.

Police had interviewed 10 witnesses including Pattharit, his current and former employees, and partners in the company, Charnthep said.

Officers also had conducted a simulation of the crime and were investigating how the assailants gained access to the condominium’s fifth floor parking lot, which requires a key card.

Police also told Immigration Police Bureau officers to watch border checkpoints, especially those near gambling operations in neighbouring countries, for the passage of suspects carrying suspicious amounts of Japanese currency, he added.

Investigators were also scheduled to meet at 8pm on Wednesday at the Paholyothin precinct to discuss the case.

Charnthep added that he expected police would arrest the suspects soon, because there had been a similar heist in 2012, when an Indian businessman involved in a money exchange was robbed of Bt50 million in the Bang Rak area.

Pattharit filed a robbery complaint at almost midnight on Monday after his employees, Jirapat Pithakkitwattana and Kiatipong Peungyims, were attacked and robbed at the Ratchada Pavilion condominium parking lot at 11.15pm.

Another company employee, Narongchai Sawadipol, had brought the cash from Japan to Suvarnabhumi International Airport in carry-on luggage earlier on Monday night.

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