CHONBURI – Two Thai suspects are under arrest on the suspicion of belong to a thief gang that allegedly preys on foreign tourists in the resort town of Pattaya.
Police say the suspects, Arkom Chodang, 24, and Usa Eiamsa-ard, 31, were arrested after they stole more than 14,000 baht in cash from a pair of Japanese tourists on a songthaew bus in central Pattaya last night.
According to Pol.Col. Supathee Boonkrong, the Japanese tourists said they were surrounded by five Thais as they were riding on a songthaew on Pattaya 2 Road at around midnight, and the tourists soon realised that their wallets were gone, so they sought help from police.
Arkom and Usa were arrested shortly afterwards. Pol.Col. Supathee said police found 4,000 baht in cash on the suspects, the rest already distributed to their fellow perpetrators. He added that the suspects confessed to stealing from the two Japanese.
"We checked the two suspects' criminal record. They have been arrested for similar crimes many times in the past, yet they never repent," Pol.Col. Supathee said, "After their sentences were completed, they returned to their criminal actions. It greatly affects the image of Pattaya as a tourist destination."
The officer said Arkom and Usa and three other suspects appear to belong to a gang that targets foreign tourists in the area. "We are looking for the other three gang members so we can prosecute them," Pol.Col. Supathee told reporters.
Crimes against foreigners are common in Pattaya, which situates in the east of Bangkok and is well-known for its seedy nightlife.
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