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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Three male suspects arrested for robbery

Three male suspects, including a former bank security guard, have been arrested for Sunday's bank robbery at Suvarnabhumi airport. Supatcha Phuthukmok, 33, a former security guard at Bangkok Bank's Suvarnabhumi airport branch; Sirisak Yodcharoen, 35, a former public bus driver at the airport; and Somkhuan Sriwanna, 35, the alleged get-away driver, were apprehended separately yesterday afternoon.

The first two suspects were discovered during a search of the Khao Fah Laep and Khao Saming hills in Lop Buri's Chai Badan district by police from Lop Buri and Samut Prakan's Ratcha Thewa police station. Mr Somkhuan was arrested at his house in Samut Sakhon's Krathum Baen district.

Police seized 360,000 baht from Mr Sirisak and about 1.1 million baht from Mr Supatcha. Another 1.1 million baht was found hidden in a jar at the house of Mr Sirisak's wife in Chai Badan district.

Another team of police seized 500,000 baht from Mr Somkhuan's house. The suspect threw a bag containing another 60,000 baht into a bush near his house, according to police.

The suspects have been charged with colluding to rob the bank.

Pol Maj-Gen Witthaya Prayongphan, the Samut Prakan police chief, said witnesses saw the suspects checking out the area around the bank on Sunday morning, shortly before the hold up.

The robbery lasted 40 minutes and the thieves stole 3.3 million baht.

Police allege Mr Supatcha and Mr Sirisak were wearing black jackets bearing the word ''Police'' when they entered the bank on Sunday morning, just after Saichon Pawangkanan, a 28-year-old teller, arrived for work.

One of the robbers brandished a handgun and the other held a knife.

They forced bank staff to open the vault, but could not get at the cash as it was stored in a separate safe inside the vault and another worker held the key. The robbers decided to wait.

When 40-year-old Pimwaree Tansriwong arrived, the robbers forced her to open the safe before handcuffing her and taping her mouth.

They also handcuffed six other workers who arrived during the heist before fleeing with the money in a pick-up truck.

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