Phuket Provincial Police held a press conference this morning (Mar 28) to announce the arrest of Anurak Phaduangpon 27, from Phang Nga, for the crimes.
Not confirmed at the press conference, but confirmed directly with The Phuket News today was that the suspect was working as a motorbike taxi driver in Patong when he committed the crimes.
According to a Phuket Provincial Police report presented at the press conference, Anurak had confessed to the attack.
Kathu Police officers tracked down Anurak via CCTV footage to find Anurak’s motorbike parked in front of his rented accommodation in Thung Thong village, in Moo 7, Kathu, said the report.
At the home, officers found clothes matching those worn by Anurak while riding with the tourist, 26-year-old Bihter Ucar, as passenger, as identified from CCTV footage obtained along Nanai Rd in Patong.
The officers also found items robbed from the tourist, though the report did not clarify exactly which items were found.
The items reported stolen in the assault and robbery included a black iPhone 6s, B4,000 cash and credit cards. (See story here.)
Phuket Provincial Police Deputy Commander Col Peerayuth Karajadee told The Phuket News that Anurak had been working as a “freelance” motorbike taxi driver, working in Kathu and Patong.
“He has a criminal record for theft and involvement in drugs. This is the third time he has been caught since 2008,” Col Peerayuth said.
Anruak is being detained at Kathu Police while officers continue their investigation.
“He has been charged for robbery,” Col Peerayuth confirmed, adding that this was only a preliminary charge.
“Other charges are likely to follow after the officers have concluded their investigation,” he said.
Of the stolen items recovered, Col Peerayuth said, “We found only cash and other items and have returned these to the victim, but the iPhone is gone.”