Santhan Kammongkol, 20, told Pattaya police he hired Naret “Tui” Sonklin, 35, and another man identified only as “Aa” to rob Sirilak Rattana, manager of the convenience store on Naklua Road at Soi 18, as he accompanied her to the bank next door.
Police, shown here holding photos of two more suspects, have arrested Santhan Kammongkol (seated) for his involvement in the robbery of a 7-Eleven.
Both men, who did escape with the money, are now being sought by police, who said they expect to announce arrests soon.
Santhan said he tried to throw off police by having Naret hit him in the face, but police almost instantly saw through his story. Interrogating him for just two hours, investigators gained Santhan’s confession after finding repeated calls to the gunmen in his mobile telephone’s call log.
Santhan said he set up the robbery to clear a debt he had with Naret. He confessed he telephoned his alleged accomplices shortly before 5 p.m. Jan. 31 to alert them he’d be taking his 25-year-old manager to the bank, just a few meters from the store.
With a gun to her head, Sirilak coughed up the money and the gunman fled on a motorbike. Police immediately tried to block off area roads in hopes of catching the robber, but found nothing. An investigation is underway.
Santhan admitted they had planned to meet on Naklua Soi 29 to divvy up the cash later.
Police said they consider the thieves armed and dangerous and urged anyone who spotted men matching their descriptions to call 082-799-9111. The same number can be used to call for a police escort for store clerks taking large deposits to the bank.