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 VOL. V No.2
 Friday 10 January 1997 - 16 January 1997
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NEWS
 

Tourist drugging and robbery gang arrested

Back Row: The arresting officers. Front Row: (L to R) Samran Meemark, 42, Amorn Saiyakul, 19, Sek Kimchieng, 52, Jirasa Aphasiri, 38, Thikhamphorn Chitralarn, 25, and Saengdao Sudsaita, 28, the arrested criminals.

After a dramatic series of events, which reads like a crime novel, local police have apprehended at least one gang responsible for the rash of tourist druggings and robberies which have plagued this resort town for the past several months.

Amorn Saiyakul
Sek Kimchieng, 52 year old male from Bangkok, and five women, Jirasa Aphasiri, 38, Samran Meemark, aka ‘Oy’, 42, Amorn Saiyakul, 19, Saengdao Sudsaita, 28, and Thikhamphorn Chitralarn, 25, all claiming to hail from the capital city, were arrested after a successful undercover stake-out operation caught them in the act on January 5, 1997.
The dramatic increase in drugging and robberies which reached epidemic proportions recently has caused damage to dozens of tourists physical health and mental well-being. The problem has been difficult for law enforcement officials to solve, as all the tourists were foreign nationals with little or no knowledge of the Thai language, which also made them easy prey for the criminals. The confusion surrounding these cases increased geometrically as police had little evidence to go on due to the tourist’s unfamiliarity with Pattaya. Regional law enforcement agencies and tourist police were temporarily at a loss as to how to track these criminals.

Thikhamphorn Chitralarn
The Scientific Crime Division of the Police Department studied and analysed the crimes, searching for patterns and comparing methods. Careful interrogation was done at the scene of each crime and results analysed until a general ‘map’ of the criminal’s methods and general behaviour patterns were drawn up.
A joint plan for the apprehending of these vicious criminals was made by the Pattaya Tourist Police under the command of Police Major Jongsak Yeamlamool and Police Lt. Col Prakarn Prajong, Commander of the Regional Police. Law enforcement officials began by putting out a ‘dragnet’ undercover operation, using both undercover police and civilian volunteers. Officers were also helped by the owners and employees of beer bars and other entertainment establishments. The proprietors and staff of these establishments were requested to carefully note and remember any suspicious individuals or strangers entering the venues and approaching customers. They were asked to report any and all incidences of this to officers immediately.

Saengdao Sudsaita
Plainclothes officers were stationed at entertainment venues at all times, with forces increased on weekends and holidays.
On January 3rd, a middle aged Thai man and 5 Thai women between the ages of 20-30 were seen in the area of a beer bar in South Pattaya. Police watched as they got out of an automobile and proceeded to separate and go to different beer bars in the area. The middle aged man walked from bar to bar, seemingly surveying the actions of the women with which he had come.
Of special note to police and informants was that he appeared to be quite wealthy. Aside from a very heavy solid gold necklace and bracelet, he also wore 2 or 3 rings set with large solitaire diamonds on each hand. He also wore a very expensive watch set with diamonds. To the uninformed this would engender trust, but police and informant’s suspicions were aroused.
On January 5th at 3 AM, the group appeared again at the Maliwan Cafe on Soi Saen Samran above the “Golden Mile” in South Pattaya. They arrived in a slate grey Mitsubishi New Galant motorcar with Bangkok license tags. The same middle-aged Thai man got down from the vehicle alone. He then walked around, looking into the various beer bars which foreign tourists frequented. He then went back to the car and called two of the women who got out and the three engaged in conversation for a few moments.

(L to R) Tourist Police Commander Major General Kwang Chansin, Pol. Superintendant Col. Khajonsak Kiangsakphichit, and Pattaya Tourist Police Chief Maj. Jongsak Yeamlamool address the media after the arrests were made.

The two women then disappeared into the bars, with the man watching from a short distance away. He appeared to be agitated. From the time of their arrival undercover police were watching every move the group made. His movements increased and he went back to the car. Watching officers radioed and told colleagues of his movements, requesting re-enforcements at the same time. Police informed other officers that the man began following his female accomplices who were taking possible prey off to rob.
When headquarters was informed, Police Lt. Colonel Atthaphol Narmnart received orders to head the arresting team. He ordered officers to surround the group in force and arrest them immediately. Captain Prateep Thongdee, Pol. Lt. Commander Thanormsak Intarabut and 10 officers swept down upon the car at the time and arrested everyone inside. Those arrested were Sek Kimchieng, Jirasa Aphasiri, Samran Meemark, aka, ‘Oy’, and Amorn Saiyakul.

Sek Kimchieng age 52, sits on the street in South Pattaya while officers make their arrest.

The man initially resisted arrest, saying he had done nothing wrong. He made protestations of loss of face and told police he would sue them for damages and false arrest. Police managed to subdue him and took the four suspects to Tourist Police Headquarters.
All confessed to having been in the business of drugging and robbing tourists for a long time. They also confessed to having robbed many tourists in Pattaya. The accused also said that two of their accomplices were in the process of engaging in this activity at that very moment at the Paradise Inn, South Pattaya. Police quickly dispatched a force of officers, who arrested the other two before the drugging took place.
The final two arrested were Saengdao Sudsaita, 28, and Thikhamphorn Chitralarn, 25. Both confessed.
Amorn, who said she had only recently joined the gang, revealed to police how the druggings were carried out. She said she had been cajoled into joining the gang by Sek, aka ‘Piak’. She said the takings were good and regularly took home more than 100,000 baht a month. She said that Jirasa was the ‘teacher’ who taught them the methods of inducing unconsciousness in the tourists.
Amorn revealed several methods, the first being simply dropping the drug into her victims’ drinks. The second, she said, was to spread the drug on her nipples. The third method used was to hold the drug under her tongue. The drug in question was a sleeping preparation called ‘Upjohn 27’. After drinking, the victim would fall soundly asleep within 20-30 minutes. If a large amount was consumed, the victim would be unconscious for up to 48 hours. If consumed off the nipples, she said, the victims regained consciousness more quickly.
She went on to say that the preferred method among all the ladies was to hold the drug under their tongue, then kiss the victim, push the drug into the victim’s mouth with the tongue, and then quickly offer the victim a swallow of a liquid so the medicine would be ingested. If the victim became suspicious they would be told it was a sex prolonging agent. She said that the victims were usually gullible enough to believe this. After the oral method, the poisoner would have to hurry to the bathroom and wash her mouth out so the medicine would not produce its soporific and sometimes deadly effects on her.
Police were told that, before a hunting expedition, Jirasa would prepare the drug by crushing 1 tablet per victim and put it in a well-sealed airtight plastic bag. Upon catching a victim, each girl would have to use her own ingenuity to get the medicine out of the bag and into the victim.
Usually the operation would begin with the women reserving at least two hotel rooms. After this, ‘Piak’ would take them to the various beer bar areas. ‘Piak would then walk around, surveying tourists and pointing out the wealthy looking ones. He would look for tourists with obvious wealth, such as diamonds, gold and other personal ornaments which could be sold easily.
After finding appropriate prey, he would tell his accomplices to go to work. The women would then approach the victim and make overtures. Sometimes the victims took the women to their rooms and other times they went with the women. ‘Piak’ would follow the couple in his car and wait in front of the hotel to aid in the getaway after the robbery.
The gang would then sell the valuables and divide all proceeds, including cash, according to fairness. A different woman would do the dirty work on each outing. This was to prevent their faces from becoming too familiar in any one area. The gang consisted of approx. 10 with ‘Piak’ and Jirasa as the leaders and pointers. The activities were carried out in Bangkok and other provinces. The gang admitted to committing four major robberies in Pattaya in December 1996 alone.
On the 21st of December, 1996, Samran, aka ‘Oy’, and Thikhamphorn robbed Giesa (sic) and Herbert, German nationals. On the 27th of December, 1996, Orn (surname unknown) and Amorn robbed Martin, a German national. On the 29th of December 1996, Niksan, a national of Luxembourg was robbed of over 200,000 baht. On the 30th of December, 1996, Ernst, an Austrian national, was robbed by Orn and Amorn. These robberies alone netted the gang approx. 1.3 million baht.
Meanwhile, police have been able to apprehend another gang member in Bangkok. They have also recovered an amount of the stolen goods from pawn shops and an amount of cash. At present, all this is being kept as evidence.


Police arrest their own

Steppler and Novellini point out ex-police sergeant Chalermphol Sahaya as the man who had extorted them out of a large sum of money.

Sergeant Chalermphol Sahaya, 39, of the Pattaya Police Department who had been stationed at the police box on Pattaya-Naklua Road to assist tourists, was arrested with his accomplice, Narong Klangsakul, 25, on January 5, 1997, for extortion of tourists. The two men were involved in selling marijuana to tourists, then extorting huge sums of money from them under the pretence of not arresting them.
This case was first brought to light when Maja Steppler and Frederico Novellini from Switzerland came to Pattaya Mail back in October asking for help (Pattaya Mail vol. IV, No. 44, 1 November. 96). The two were living in fear because the uniformed officer (Chalermphol) was regularly coming to their home to try to get them to pay him upwards of 150,000 baht so that he wouldn’t arrest them for possession of heroin, a charge the Swiss say is totally unfounded.
Police were unable to do anything at the time because Chalermphol stopped his extortion when the matter was made public.
He didn’t, however, cease his operation.
Police were finally able to close in on Chalermphol with the help of another Swiss national, Reto Dutchsie (sic), 39. On January 3, Dutchsie had been drinking at a beer bar in South Pattaya when he was approached by one of Chalermphol’s accomplices who offered to sell him “good stuff”. Dutchsie went with the man to Bali Hai Point. As soon as the transaction was made, Chalermphol appeared in full uniform and threatened to arrest both men.
On the way to the police station, Chalermphol told Dutchsie that he wouldn’t face charges if he agreed to pay 100,000 baht. Dutchsie paid an initial sum of 27,000 baht and told the officer he would need to get the rest from the bank in the morning. The officer took Dutchsie’s passport and 900 Swiss Francs (Approx. 18,000 baht) as assurance, and set up an appointment to collect the rest at 11:00 AM the next morning.
In the early morning of January 4th, the Swiss man filed a complaint with the tourist police. Along with Pattaya police, the two divisions set a trap by preparing 33,000 baht in marked Thai baht notes. They then surreptitiously followed Dutchsie to the parking lot of the hotel where the money was to be paid. Soon, a car approached, parked, and a police officer in a Police Sergeant’s uniform descended and walked to Reto. As soon as the money changed hands, police made their arrest.
Police brought Sergeant Chalermphol Sahaya to the Pattaya police station and later arrested his accomplice, Narong Klangsakul, at his residence. Neither made any protestations of innocence due to the overwhelming evidence against them.
On January 7th, Frederico Novellini and Maja Steppler visited the Pattaya Police Station and requested to see the ex-sergeant to see if he was the same man that had extorted money from them.
The police allowed the two to see the sergeant, but told them that the law required them to identify the sergeant from a ‘line-up’ of men. Police brought the sergeant out with 5 other men and asked the Swiss to point out who extorted them. When they saw Chalermphol they immediately pointed to him.
Frederico not only remembered the sergeant, but was able to describe the car and give the license number to police as he had memorised it when taken to the bank the day he was being extorted. Maja said she could remember Chalermphol as he spent a long time at her house dickering over the extortion money.
The senior officer said the first thing which would happen to Chalermphol would be severance from the civil service and police department. He would then face a court trial.
The Commanders of the two police divisions in Pattaya say there are surely more officers engaged in this type of activity and they are conducting investigations to capture and punish these dishonest cops.


Russian tour group stages lobby sit-in

Russian tourists refuse to leave the lobby of the hotel after they were refused rooms they had pre-paid for through the Golden Tour Company.

80 Russian tourists, including 10 children, here on tour from their homeland for a holiday in Pattaya, staged a sit-in protest in the lobby of a large hotel in Sattahip when they were denied accommo-dations they said they had already paid for.
They had booked their tour to Thailand through the Golden Tour Company, whose main office is located in Russia with a sub-agent in Bangkok. They flew to Thailand on December 28 1996, and planned to return home on January 11, 1997. The group spent the first two days in Bangkok and then made their way to Pattaya. But upon reaching Pattaya, hotel management told the tour group that they could not possibly stay as Golden Tour had either not made arrange-ments, or arrangements had been made, but the Golden Tour Company had not yet paid for the rooms.
Upon learning of this, the tour group became very upset and made signs, which they hung around their necks, protesting the behaviour of the tour company and the hotel. The signs read; “We have paid our money but have no place to stay”. The group also shouted insults at the Russian tour leader, Ms. Yuria Moskosreko (sic), saying that they had all been defrauded after having paid a group fee of US $30,000.
A hotel representative spoke with the group and told them the hotel was full and that they only had 10 ordinary rooms left, but they would be willing to open them for the 80 tourists. The group refused because, among other reasons, they had paid for VIP rooms. They then began shouting that they wanted their money refunded and they would find their own accommodations.
Receiving no answer as to the solution to their problem from the tour company, the tourists slept on the floor in the area in front of the lobby.
Pattaya tourist police sent a group of officers, headed by Pol. Lt. Commander Tha-nomsak Intarabutr, to keep the situation peaceful.


Police raid local karaoke

Pattaya police have been told to do their utmost to rid Pattaya of the prostitution problem which, “contributes to Thailand’s bad reputation and causes the spread of nasty diseases”. This order has come down to the main office of the Chonburi Police through the Ministry of the Interior. Police have been ordered to raid such places as karaoke bars and other entertainment venues which are fronts for prostitution.
Acting on this order, a special squad of police raided the New Norah Karaoke. The police, incognito as night-time revellers, entered the establishment with marked banknotes, lured the girls into deals, and paid them for services. The girls asked for 1,000 baht per hour. As soon as the police paid them with marked notes, the officers revealed themselves and arrested them.
The police arrested 24 so-called waitresses. They also arrested Ms. Buarien Saengphung on charges of procuring or being the “Mamasan”. Also arrested was Mr. Arthit Deekhunthod on charges of procuring or being a “Pimp”. All were taken to the Pattaya Police Station for booking.


Fake policeman eats well

The swindled food vendors point to the man who has been eating free meals under the guise of being a policeman.

Paitoon Wongngarm, 40, was brought to police by angry vendors after he had scammed them out of approximately 21,300 baht worth of barbecue chicken.
The vendors told police that Paitoon had been telling them for quite some time that he was a police officer. On many occasions had told them that he had forgotten his money and demanded free chicken dinners from their carts. When the vendors finally wised up to him, they gathered together, “arrested” him, and brought him to Pattaya police station.
Police have charged Paitoon with impersonating an officer of the law and defrauding others of property.


Pyro burns beach gear

Beach gear lies smouldering after being set ablaze by a glue sniffing pyromaniac.

A glue sniffing pyromaniac went mad on Pattaya Beach December 27th, burning umbrellas, tables, containers and anything else he could find which local beach vendors had piled up next to the pavement for the night.
Fire-fighters managed to douse the flames, but not before 29 plastic beach lounges, 27 plywood tables and 2 Fiberglas containers had melted down. Total damages came to thirty thousand baht.
Mr. Pracha Phimsawat, 40, the owner of the paraphernalia, burst into tears when he saw his means of living destroyed, saying he had never hurt anyone.
Pracha said there had been three incidents of arson this year. Police have been unable to catch the flaming youth.


City addresses traffic problems in Pattaya

Pairat Suthithamrongsawat, Mayor of Pattaya, in a recent announcement, told the media that his administration has been working to improve the traffic system and that all traffic laws will be strictly enforced. This is due to the great increase in weekend traffic in Pattaya.
U-turns are being closed at 2 points on Sukhumvit Road, which, the mayor said, have been problem areas for quite some time. The first point where this will take place is the junction of Soi Nern Plub Warn and Soi Sanarm Golf. Cars which have used this as a U-turn in the past must now continue on to Soi Phra Nied Charng, just before the traffic signal in North Pattaya.
The second point is the U-turn entering the Marb Prachan Reservoir and the Pattaya Crocodile Farm. Cars which used to turn at this point must now veer left and turn at the side of Jey Sien Seu Factory, Na Klua, turn left onto Sawang Fa Road, pass the red light at the Sawang Fa junction and go back onto Sukhumvit Road.
Pattaya Second Road has been painted with red warning stripes at curves where parking is forbidden, such as the entrance to sois and at all road junctions where mini-buses often violate these rules. All violators of the above rules will incur heavy fines.
Sois 1-13 will become one way thoroughfares, although it has not yet been set which sois will allow traffic to move in which directions. The Pattaya Police will be responsible for making the surveys and the decisions on this. When it is decided there will be signs erected on all Sois to indicate which way the traffic must flow.
These policies have been instituted by Sujarit Pajchimnan, Governor of Chonburi, to facilitate the movement of traffic for both residents and tourists. This policy will begin to take effect at the beginning of 1997 and violators will be heavily fined. The institution of the new rules will be complete by January 15th 1997.


Citizens intervene, prevent attempted murder

Two potential assassins are subdued by local citizens, then arrested by police.

On January 1st, police received a report from Mr. Pairoj Nilphothong, 33, the manager of the Svenholm Pub in Soi Theeraphol, Pattaya 3rd Road, that he and a group of citizens had apprehended a teenager and found he was carrying a .22 calibre pistol.
At the site of the incident, police found Mr. Theerapong Pongphak, 18, being restrained by citizens after having been apprehended by the use of force. Police arrested Theerapong and found him wearing a gunbelt with a .22 calibre pistol. The cartridge contained 1 bullet. The safety catch was off and the pistol was disengaged, so the gun could be fired at any time. Police also found 10 amphetamine tablets in his trousers pocket. He was taken to Pattaya police station for questioning.
Theerapong admitted that he was waiting to settle a blood debt with an enemy who was sitting in the pub. He was planning to shoot him when he walked out of the pub. When his intended victim walked out, he stood up, unholstered the gun and was prepared to shoot him, but a group of citizens caught him and restrained him before he got off a shot. He also admitted to having the amphetamines in his possession for sale to his friends.
Pairoj, the manager of the pub, told reporters that before they had restrained the would-be gunman, he had come in and sat in the bar drinking for a long period of time, and had become very drunk. At one point, he arose from the table and walked to the counter bar, hitting it with his fist. Pairoj told him that he should not do this or, if he felt too drunk, to go home to sleep. After saying this, Pairoj said that Theerapong and his two companions walked out of the pub.
After that, Pairoj received a call from friends telling him to watch out, as there was a group of teenagers looking for him. He was also told they were armed and intoxicated. When Pairoj was told this, he instructed his employees to watch out for suspicious looking teenagers. At that time, he saw two teenagers ride a motorcycle past his pub and park. The driver ordered the pillion rider to go and wait at a small grocery shop opposite the pub. He then walked out of the pub and saw Theerapong stand up and unholster the pistol. Pairoj’s employees charged and subdued him, helped by nearby citizens. Pairoj said he was very lucky to have received the telephone call warning him or he might be dead.


Making merit for the New year

The Navy’s top brass make merit for the New Year.

On New Year’s Day, 1997, Admiral Vijit Chamnaankarn, Commander of the Navy and Sattahip Naval Base, Admiral Sunant Phatanawong, Vice-Commander, and other officers, along with members of the public sector, made merit. They gave dried foods, personal items, flowers and money to 50 monks in the Sattahip District.
This was to honour His Majesty the King on His Golden Jubilee and to celebrate the new year. This was also done as an example for the public to follow. It is hoped that his example will engender a desire for the public to pay attention to the monks, make merit, and cleanse their spirits and make them pure for the new year. The merit making was to show the public that they should know how to conduct their lives in the new year and show morality and personal goodness.


Pick-pocket disguised as flower child

Olaf Lofpsa (sic) 35, a Norwegian national, had his pockets picked by a young flower selling girl last week as he sat at a local beer bar.
Olaf told police that he had gone from his hotel to Soi Yamato to drink in the nightlife at the S.P. Swissbar. He was approached by a young teenage girl who tried to sell him a bunch of flowers for a hundred baht. He refused, but she engaged in lively badgering for about 10 minutes. After she left, he reached into his pocket and discovered he was missing about 9000 baht in cash and all his credit cards. He looked for the slippery lass but she had beat feet. He then took his complaint to the tourist police.


Attention all members of Chaine de Rotisseurs

The First anniversary of the Chaine de Rotisseurs will be held on January 19, 1997, at the Dusit Resort Hotel. All members are asked to come and join this very special event. Please bring your family and friends along.
The world president of the Chaine de Rotisseurs will honor the Pattaya Club with his presence.
For more information and reservations, please contact: Mr. Joachim Caula, tel: 250 421-40 at the Royal Cliff Beach Resort.


General closes workshop

 Lt. General Vinij Krajangsont, Commander of Region 1 and Director of Anti-Communism in Region 1, awards certificates to civil servants who successfully completed the workshop.

Lt. General Vinij Krajangsont, Commander of Region 1 and Director of Anti-Communism in Region 1, presided over the closing of a workshop for the development of services from Nakorn Nayok, Prajinburi, Sra Kaew, Chantaburi, Trat, Prajuab Khirikhan, Pethcburi, Ratchburi, Kanchanaburi and Suphanburi provinces.
The workshop trained over 160 teachers over a period of 4 days. The workshop members were civil servants from levels 3 to 8 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Commerce. All were given certificates by General Vinij.


Congratulations

To Barry and Lak Taylor on the birth of a baby daughter, Kelly. She weighed in at 2.9 kg on the 30th of December. Mother and daughter are doing fine. Dad is rather frazzled.


 
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

Tourist drugging and robbery gang arrested

Police arrest their own

Russian tour group stages lobby sit-in

Police raid local karaoke

Fake policeman eats well

Pyro burns beach gear

City addresses traffic problems in Pattaya

Citizens intervene, prevent attempted murder

Making merit for the New year

Pick-pocket disguised as flower child

Attention all members of Chaine de Rotisseurs

General closes workshop

Congratulations

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