Final suspect in June swindle of British man arrested


Police have arrested the former police volunteer who police said was the final suspect in June’s elaborate swindle of a British man.

Thummkrit Thanomrod, 28, was apprehended July 26 on Third Road. Tracked down by his unauthorized use of his police volunteer squad walkie-talkie, the Pong resident was charged with both illegal use of a police communications device and the robbery offense on the June arrest warrant.

Thummkrit is the last of three suspects arrested for the alleged theft of 12,000 baht from Paul Denham, 59, and his girlfriend, 40-year-old Prakai Janphot at their hotel in North Pattaya June 19.

According to the victims, they had been having one of their frequent drunken arguments on Second Road when a Thai woman – Orawan Kaewdaeng, 43 – approached them to offer assistance. She then led them back to their hotel where they were joined by Wattanachai Sreekhumnoi, 22, and Thummkrit, who was dressed in his volunteer uniform.

Wattanachai turned himself into police shortly after the incident and Orawan was arrested July 18 for another unrelated theft.

Claiming to be police, Wattanachai and Thummkrit allegedly searched Denham’s room and attempted to mediate the dispute between the couple, which had reached the point of Denham telling Prakai to leave. Orawan allegedly then demanded 10,000 baht as a parting gift for his paramour and 2,000 baht for the officers. He complied.

Prakai didn’t leave, however, and when the two reunited, they discovered the supposed police had absconded with all the cash, as well as a mobile phone and passport taken during their search of their room.

Police said last month that Thummkrit confessed to being part of the grifting gang, but had nothing to do with the theft, saying he was on the balcony when the money exchange took place. But he also admitted to fleeing to Khon Kaen when he learned an arrest warrant had been issued for him.