2 ‘accomplices’ arrested in escape of 3 Pattaya prison inmates

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Noi Nilthes, Sirinapa Wisetrit and American Bart Allen Helmus remain at large after they allegedly shot and stabbed a guard at the Pattaya Provincial Court.
Noi Nilthes, Sirinapa Wisetrit and American Bart Allen Helmus remain at large after they allegedly shot and stabbed a guard at the Pattaya Provincial Court.

Two people were arrested Tuesday in connection with the escape of an American and two Thais who allegedly shot and stabbed a guard at the Pattaya Provincial Court.

Noi Nilthes, Sirinapa Wisetrit and American Bart Allen Helmus remain at large after the well-planned breakout Nov. 4 as they were being transferred to stand trial on drug charges.

During the escape, according to the Courts of Justice, Noi shot and Helmus stabbed guard Pol. Capt. Thanamet Photipan. The Courts reported Tuesday that he was now stable and expected to be moved out of intensive care.

A police spokesman said five people are believed to have helped the three drug suspects. Two of them – identified only as “Max” and his girlfriend “Orn” – were arrested late Tuesday after police spotted them dumping the Isuzu pickup truck in which the fugitives escaped at an industrial park near Noi’s home.

A park security guard said he saw “Max” park the truck and place a large steel-cutting tool inside, then rode off on a motorcycle driven by Orn.

New arrest warrants have been issued for the fugitives with charges of colluding in the attempted murder of a state official on duty, escape during detention, possession of weapons without permission and carrying weapons in public.

Helmus and his girlfriend Sirinapa already were facing life in prison for possession with intent to sell nearly a kilogram of crystal methamphetamine and illegal weapons possession. Noi separately was facing charges of possession of 229,800 ya ba tablets and 100 ecstasy pills.

Police have retraced the fugitives initial escape route, saying they drove the truck toward Sattahip before they were lost. If they continued on that route, it would take them to Prachin Buri, Sa Kaeo or Nakhon Ratchasima or they could try to escape across the border to Cambodia in Chanthaburi.

Police are watching all the roads and border checkpoints and have urged the fugitives’ families to cooperate with authorities.

Helmus and his lover were captured July 13 with 988 grams of ya ice, a 22-caliber handgun, bullets and drug-packaging paraphernalia.

The arrest came in a sting operation where the pair were tricked into selling undercover officers 10 grams of crystal meth in front of the Kwanjai Apartment on Naklua Soi 29/1. Officers then found additional drugs at their Ananya Beachfront Condominium on Naklua Soi 16.

Police said Helmus confessed he bought the drugs over the internet and, with the help of his girlfriend, sold them to local Thais and foreigners. He said he received drugs from his supplier via the Thai postal system.