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Russians wanted for B50mn Pattaya art theft arrested in Phuket

Russians wanted for B50mn Pattaya art theft arrested in Phuket

PHUKET: Officers from Phuket Immigration arrested three Russians, two men and one woman, in Koh Kaew today (Sept 8) for fleeing bail in Pattaya, where they are wanted to face charges for assault and theft of paintings reportedly worth B50 million.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Wednesday 8 September 2021, 06:04PM

The three were wanted on an arrest warrant issued by the Pattaya Court in Chonburi, Maj Gen Phanthana Nuchnarot, head of the Immigration Bureau’s national Investigation Division, announced at the Phuket Immigration office in Phuket Town this afternoon.

The arrests were the result of a joint investigation by national immigration investigation officers and Phuket Immigration, Maj Gen Phanthana said.

Joining Maj Gen Phanthana in making the announcement was Phuket Immigration deputy chief Lt Col Naruewat Puttawiro.

Officers arrested Olek Tarakhnov, 51, and Alena Zakharova, 33, at a house in Grace Gardens housing estate in Soi Koh Kaew 13, and Maxim Sukharev, 33, at a house in Habitown housing estate in Koh Kaew, Maj Gen Phanthana explained.

Officers checked “the biometrics system” and found that the fourth suspect, named as Alexei Kusikin, 19, (named in the arrest report as “Alek Sie”), had already fled the country, he added.

Maj Gen Phanthana explained that the four suspects together in November last year assaulted a Swiss national and stole paintings valued at about B50mn.

“They were arrested in Chonburi and released on bail. Then they moved to stay in Phuket before they were arrested again today,” said. 

However, Maj Gen Phanthana did not explain when the warrant was issued for the four fugitives for jumping bail.

He also did not explain when the three fugitives arrested in Phuket today had moved to Phuket, and did not explain when Alexei Kusikin left the country through formal channels.

“After spending about three weeks of investigation, we filed a request to the Phuket Provincial Court to issue a search warrant yesterday (Sept 7). We received the warrant today and went to the house where the suspects were staying,” Maj Gen Phanthana said. 

“We will take them back to Chonburi so they can face further charges,” he added.

Asked who had painted the works of art that were deemed so valuable, Maj Gen Phanthana said, “I don’t know.”

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jsrit | 09 September 2021 - 18:48:35

@JohnC Racist much?

DeKaaskopp | 09 September 2021 - 15:24:01

@Kurt  Maybe you ,as an expert on everything, could enlighten them about the artist who did the paintings ?

Christy Sweet | 09 September 2021 - 14:06:15

My guess is Alexie was able to leave because of the error in the name Alek Sie. I've had problems when my middle name was added to my first name or not realizing an initial can be used. For a country that relies so much on foreigners for income, you'd think the English training  would be adequate- it's not.   

Christy Sweet | 09 September 2021 - 13:51:54

Agree, generally Russians more careless and dangerous on the roads than even the Thais due to their 'Me first' culture.

Kurt | 09 September 2021 - 12:10:34

@Paddy, high ranking RTP Officers have many skills like drama, twisting, trained selective memories and a few more. But knowledge of art is definitely not on their education list.

Paddy | 09 September 2021 - 10:35:27

"Asked who had painted the works of art that were deemed so valuable, Maj Gen Phanthana said, “I don’t know.” hunter Biden ??

JohnC | 09 September 2021 - 09:32:59

In all the years I have been here I have never heard anything good done by Russians here. They are disgusting neighbours not caring about anyone around them. They drive aggressively all the time, much worse than any local and they look down their noses at the Thais treating them like lower class citizens, when they are nothing but ex-peasants themselves. Does Thailand really need their tourist $?


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