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Motorbike taxi driver arrested for robbing Aussie tourist

PHUKET: Police arrested a local motorbike taxi driver yesterday (May 9) just 24 hours after he snatched a bag belonging to an Australian tourist and made off with AUS$200 and more than B1,600 in cash in Rawai early Tuesday morning.

tourism, crime, transport, police,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 10 May 2018, 01:14PM

Motorbike taxi driver Thanapon Sukjam retraces his steps for police during the re-enactment yesterday. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Officers tracked down and arrested Thanapon Sukjam, 48, at an unreported location in Phuket Town at 4am yesterday, Chalong Police Chief Col Pakayot Tanongsak explained to the press yesterday during a re-enactment of the crime by the suspect.

Present for the re-enactment with Col Pakayot was Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos.

“Thanapon is a motorbike taxi driver usually based at Chalong Circle. He picked up 39-year-old Australian Stephen Kennedy from a nightclub in Rawai and took him back to the Rawai Palm Beach Resort at 3:55am Tuesday (May 8),” Col Pakayot said.

Mr Kennedy gave Thanapon one Australian $100 banknote (worth about B2,400) for the fare and asked Thanapon for the change.

Thanapon refused, and that’s how the fight started, Col Pakayot explained.

While they were fighting, Thanapon managed to grab Mr Kennedy’s bag and sped off, making off with another AUS$100, B1,280 in cash, credit cards and an iPhone 6 worth about B20,0000, Col Pakayot said.

QSI International School Phuket

“We tracked him down and found him in Phuket Town with the same motorbike he used in committing the crime,” Col Pakayot explained.

In placing Thanapon under arrest, police also seized the motorbike used in committing the crime, as well as the helmet and red motorbike taxi vest Thanapon wore during the robbery.

Thanapon confessed to police that he committed the crime, Col Pakayot said.

However, Col Pakayot noted, “He said that he had already sold the mobile phone and spent all the money,”

Thanapon has been charged for committing the robbery, Col Pakayot confirmed.

However, Col Pakayot made no mention which night venue was open in Rawai well past 3am or if authorities were even interested in investigating the venue for illegal late trading, as Rawai is within Chalong Police jurisdiction.



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DeKaaskopp | 10 May 2018 - 19:39:22

"...made no mention which night venue was open in Rawai well past3am or..interested in investigating the venue.."The last paragraph wasn't really necessary,but a good example of how the PN is feeding other frustrated legalists on here!

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Kurt | 10 May 2018 - 18:47:33

I not question any longer bar opening times Rawai/Naiharn. It is all illegal according thai laws, with police protection.
Guess Rawai Mayor just showed up in police re-acting thing to protect his financial interest in after official bar opening hours.
Why otherwise a Mayor shows up for a re-act?? Complete shameless outlaw happening. Look at Patak road bars at night till sometimes sunrise!

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Kurt | 10 May 2018 - 13:44:16

What is in the mind of a foreign tourist, just having a short motorbike taxi transport within Rawai only at 03:55 AM to try to pay the fare with a 100 Australian dollar bill and expect change in thai currency ?

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