Thai police have arrested a group of suspects who broke into a Chinese businessman’s home in Pattaya and decamped with 700,000 baht (US$20,000) in cash and jewellery. Pol Lt Col Itthiphol Itthisarnronnachai said seven of the nine suspects were charged with armed robbery and illegal detention after they tied up the man and his Thai wife and forced them to open a safe box containing valuables.
Itthiphol told a news conference on Wednesday that the burglars believed the couple had about 400 million baht (US$11.5 million) in their house. Police also confiscated vehicles used in the housebreaking including a BMW car, gold jewellery, unused bullets and 5,000 baht cash from the men. Itthiphol added investigation revealed the suspects were hired by a three-member gang to rob the wealthy couple rumoured to be holding wads of cash in their home in Bang Lamung district of Chonburi province.
The alleged masterminds promised the thieves 15 million baht if they successfully carry out the heist, the Bangkok Post reported. They then posed as police officers and approached the pair to examine their assets. After entering the home on December 11, the raiders tied up the couple, binding their hands and legs, and robbed them. The suspects, however, found only 700,000 baht in the house instead of the rumoured millions. They later split the stolen booty and fled to Sa Kaeo and Chachoengsao provinces. Police said a manhunt has been launched to track down the remaining suspects and the ringleaders.