20 Kilometres Of Skytrain Track Wire 'Stolen'

(17 September) Police
have arrested a group of suspects accused of stealing more than 20 kilometres of copper electric
wire under Skytrain tracks in Bangkok.

In a press conference at the Metropolitan Police
headquarters, Pol.Col. Chayanon Meesati said the first of the suspects was apprehended on 29 July and
confessed he collaborated with 2 other individuals in the crime. The police then sought arrest
warrants from the court and arrested the 2 other suspects.

However, Pol.Col. Chayanon said 3
more suspects in the case are still on the run.

According to Pol.Col. Chayanon, the group
climbed ladders to reach the BTS tracks via a gap between the pillars, and the pillars helped
shielded the suspects from the public eye as they worked, cutting lengths of copper wire under the
tracks.

The wire was hidden in sacks, according the police, the group later sold the copper
wire to metal shops, and used the money to buy illegal drugs for their consumption.

The suspects
reportedly told the police they had worked as construction workers for the BTS project, which
granted them extensive knowledge of the tracks? structure. They also wore orange jackets worn by BTS
construct workers when they performed the operation, police said.

Mr. Pakdee Jirapapan, director the
maintenance department of Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), estimated that the suspects had
hauled away 20 kilometres of copper wire in total, costing the authority around 10 million
baht.

Mr. Pakdee said the theft did not immediately affect the services, but admitted that
the BTS functions could be severely disrupted in the long term. He told the reporters the BMTA would
install metal grates on vulnerable locations along the tracks to avoid further theft.

One of the suspects confessed to the police that he and his cohorts had been
operating for a year, reaping 10 sacks of copper wire in their biggest attempt. The group then
separated the money, each person receiving 20,000 baht per haul, according to the
suspect.

The stations targeted by the suspects are identified as Chong Nonsri, Arie, Saphan
Kwai, Ekkamai, Pra Khanong, and On Nut.