By Angsuma Sridokkham
FIVE FILIPINOS were arrested at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport on Wednesday after tourist police seized a Bt300,000 diamond necklace they allegedly stole from the 58th Bangkok Gems & Jewellery Fair at Impact Muang Thong Thani.
Three male suspects were identified as Ebueza Christian Carpio, 27, Bien Nonoy Mulobuko, 27, and Chapoco Florenz Velarde, 65, while the two detained women were named as Canoy Adoracion Carpio, 58, and Mallari Sofia Candelaria, 56.
Tourist Police Division commander Maj-General Surachet Hakphan said CCTV camera footage showed the Carpios, a mother and son, masquerading as customers and stealing the necklace from a display cabinet at around 2pm while shop owner Poramin Thaharian was not looking.
The owner alerted police four hour later when a stock check revealed the necklace missing.
When it was established that the descriptions of people seen buying tickets to the Philippines at the airport matched those in the CCTV images, police carried out a search and found the stolen necklace hidden in one suspect's bag.
Poramin, who has participated in the annual fair for more than 10 years, said the delayed discovery that the necklace was missing was because sales staff would normally only be extra cautious about items brought out to show customers.
In this case, the Carpios only asked to see two pairs of diamond rings, which were safely returned to the display case. Poramin said that stock checks would now be carried out more frequently.
The group of suspects entered Thailand on Monday, having booked return tickets for Monday next week. The fair ends on Sunday.
The owner Wiboon Wongsuebchart said he has been running this family business for 30 years and had hired Malca-Amit Secured Transport (Thailand) to transport the gems safely.
This is the first time that his company has joined the Bangkok Gems and Jewellery Fair, which is being held at Muang Thong Thani from Wednesday to Sunday.
He recounted that on Tuesday, his company had the security firm pick up four steel boxes carrying jewellery from its office in Silom and take them to the fair.
On the following day, the logistics firm reported that some gems were stolen on the way to the fair. After checking, he found that two of the boxes had been opened and 32 items with a total 440 karats of gems worth Bt10 million were missing.
However, police have said that the logistics firm would have to file a police complaint as the gems were stolen while in their custody.