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SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT BANGKOK

AIRPORT HEIST  

Three male suspects arrested for robbery
source: Bkk Post June 25 2008


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.

LIST OF SCAMS AT SUVARNABHUMI AIRPORT

1/. Taxi touts. Thais in yellow shirts saying they have taxis by the doors and outside. They inflate the price from 400 to 800baht+. Only use the meter cabs and you will find a desk to book. Keep the main ticket & try to remember the taxi number on your rear inside door
2/. People pretending to be security guards who pat your body down while another searches your carry-on luggage? An excuse to take your bags?
3/. Luggage being stolen on the carousels & staff pilfering. This is an ongoing problem
4/. Left luggage keep no valuables in your suitcases & lock
5/. TAT guides even if they have tags showing be wary. Do not book Tourism trips here

6/. If accosted and the person does not go away then head for the nearest Police or Tourist Police office

7/. Many taxis heading to the airport will not use their meters. This is because they cannot pick up a returning fare! They will ask for 400-450 baht. Tell them OK if they pay tollways?

8/. DO NOT ACCEPT rides from people offering you cheap fares. Some years ago at Don Muang an Egyptian so called taxi driver mugged & killed tourists who accepted rides into town and dropped body parts in drains. Be warned

9/. The old saying --- if they speak good English be on alert
10/. Watch out also for foreign touts & Chinese pick pockets. Those waiting for friends to arrive touts and pick pockets are also waiting

WHO TO MAKE A REPORT TO

1/. Tourist Police office -- Make sure you sign statement and get copy for your insurance

2/. AOT = http://www2.airportthai.co.th/airportnew/main/directors2.asp

File a complaint here

3/. Write to the Bangkok Post Postbag & The Nation to warn others http://www.nationmultimedia.com/

http://www.bangkokpost.com/

4/. File a complaint to your Embassy. The more you tell the more something will be done about the situation
5/. As the current fuel crises continues be on guard as there will be new scams

TRUST NOONE AT THE AIRPORT AND WATCH FOR TOUTS AND THOSE OFFERING TAXIS INSIDE THE AIRPORT. As of June 2008 there are now more touts loitering around the entrance doors and inside.The airport authoritiews turn a blind eye to it all.

Security at airport to be stepped up

SUTHIWIT CHAYUTWORAKAN AMORNRAT MAHITTHIROOK

source 24th June 2008 Bangkok Post

SAMUT PRAKAN : Airports of Thailand will step up security at Suvarnabhumi airport by installing more surveillance cameras and increasing the frequency of patrols by security guards and police. The decision came after a bold hold-up at a bank at the airport on Sunday morning.Airport director Serirat Prasutanont said the hold up at the Bangkok bank branch would not dent passengers' confidence in the airport's security because the crime was not committed close to the passenger terminal.Police patrols would be increased in vulnerable areas of the airport.On Sunday morning, two armed robbers clad in black jackets held up the bank and made off with 3.3 million baht in cash. The robbery lasted 40 minutes.Mr Serirat said the agency generally deploys fewer security guards on weekends.Chaturongkhapol Sodmanee, AoT deputy director, believes the robbery was an inside job.He said the AoT needed financial assistance for purchasing more surveillance cameras as the existing 163 inside the passenger terminal were not enough.''The bank is located on the left side of a bus parking lot in Zone G, which is quite far out and there are no surveillance cameras there,'' Mr Chaturongkhapol said.Their security depended on the rounds made by the guards and police patrols to the area.He said there were also too many advertising stickers on the glass doors of the bank, blocking the view of officers and preventing them from knowing what was happening inside the bank. Some of the stickers would have to go.Assistant national police chief Pol Lt-Gen Chongrak Chuthanon said investigators have made good progress in the case.He refused to reveal any details.

More than 1,000 snakes and rare turtles seized at airport
source: Bangkok Post June 24 2008

A forestry police officer examines some of the hundreds of turtles and rat snakes seized at Suvarnabhumi airport. The reptiles were due to be loaded on to a plane to China. Two wildlife smugglers were arrested at Suvarnabhumi airport yesterday as police intercepted an illegal shipment of more than 1,000 snakes and turtles. Police said it was the biggest wildlife seizure this year. They received an anonymous tip-off yesterday morning that smugglers would be sending the shipment through the airport's cargo section.

"We immediately contacted customs officers and asked them to carefully monitor shipments being sent to China, Taiwan and Vietnam," said Pol Col Subsak Chavalviwat, senior liaison officer with the Asean Wildlife Enforcement Network (Asean-Wen) Programme Coordination Unit. Two men arrived at the airport in separate pick-up trucks, parked the vehicles in the cargo area and began unloading 180 foam boxes for shipment. Within minutes, police arrived and examined the cargo."They told us that the boxes contained fish and mantis shrimps, but fish and shrimps were found in only 62 of them. The rest of the boxes were full of turtles and snakes," Pol Col Subsak said.

"There were 379 turtles and 660 snakes, altogether weighing 555 kilogrammes." The animals recovered were rat snakes, Malayan box turtles, yellow-headed temple turtles and snail-eating turtles. The three turtle species are protected.
The suspects were charged with possessing wildlife without a permit and attempting to illegally export wildlife.
Under the Wildlife Act, they could face up to four years imprisonment and/or a 40,000 baht fine. A source at the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said the shipment was due to be sent to China on Cathay Pacific Airlines. He rejected a claim by the two suspects the animals were raised in a breeding farm. "On the contrary, we are certain that they are from the wild," he said. The official said the shipment was the work of professionals, who had placed cold bottled water wrapped in newspapers in each box to keep it cool.

"Turtles are resilient and they had a higher chance of survival, but snakes are highly vulnerable and too many had been crammed together with little oxygen. Many were found dead," said the source.

The surviving animals will be cared for by wildlife breeding centres until the completion of legal proceedings.

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