Earlier this week, the suspect, Ali Esmaili Bahmanabad aged 36, reportedly befriended two fellow Iranians at the airport in Bangkok, and persuaded them to join Mr Ali in Pattaya where he claimed to run an Iranian Restaurant. The two men agreed to go to Pattaya and rented a room at a Hotel in Soi Baukao where all three stayed in the same room.
Mr Ali then suggested to the men that they all go to Bangkok for a few days and once again the other two agreed. While in Bangkok Mr Ali claimed he had to return to Pattaya first on urgent business and left the other two there.
Mr Ali is alleged to have returned to the hotel in Soi Baukao and persuaded the receptionist to hand over the room key. He is then alleged to have stolen US$2,200, B9,600 and a digital camera from the room.
When the other two returned to Pattaya they realised what had happened and reported the incident to police with the help of a legal adviser. An arrest warrant for Mr Ali was obtained and after some days of searching for him, Mr Ali was found to be living in a hotel in Soi 17 off Pattaya Third Road where he was subsequently arrested at 6am on Saturday.
Mr Ali denys allegations of theft and claims he knows some powerful 'foreign police' on Walking Street who would clear the problem for him. The problem however was not cleared as predicted and he now remains behind bars pending a court appearance.
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