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BANGKOK 24 April 2019 17:24
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Phuket Gem Heist: B5Mn In Jewelry Still Missing

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PHUKET GEM HEIST: B5mn in jewelry still missing

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Phuket Provincial Police Commander Maj Gen Chonasit Wattanavrangkul explains to the press that police are still searching for 57-year-old Mexican woman Mejia Asseneth, who remains at large. Photo: Atchaa Khamlo



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Police are still questioning the suspects as to the whereabouts of the missing loot, reported to be worth about 5 million baht. Photo: Atchaa Khamlo

PHUKET: -- Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul this afternoon confirmed that 173 items have yet to be recovered from the jewelry and gem heist in Phuket yesterday morning, despite police having three foreigners in custody.

The missing valuables are estimated to be worth about 5 million baht, he told a press conference at Phuket City Police Station today.

Presented to the press today were Mexican national Ruben Dario Zapata Gonzalez, 40, and Roslina Binti Abu Bakar, 42, from Malaysia. (Click here for our earlier report)

The third foreigner arrested, a Turkish national named by police as Riza Balkan, 49, remains in police custody in Trang province, where the gang were arrested after the car they were travelling in failed to stop at a police checkpoint.

Highway Police manning the checkpoint gave pursuit and forced the car to stop.

Officers searched the vehicle and found most of the stolen loot in luggage inside the car, Maj Gen Chonasit explained.

One Mexican woman, named by police as 57-year-old Mejia Zuluaga Maria Asseneth, managed to flee the scene, he said.

Police believe Ms Asseneth to be central to the robbery and she remains at large. She may be heading south to Thailand’s border with Malaysia.

A warrant for her arrest has been issued, said Maj Gen Chonasit.

Mr Balkan is apparently being held by Trang police on a drugs charge.

The driver of the vehicle the gang were fleeing in, an illegal taxi driver in Patong, has not named by police and has yet to be charged with any offenses.

Police are still questioning him, but at this stage believe he is innocent in terms of the robbery.

He failed to stop at the police checkpoint while under duress from the thieves, it was explained.

Thongsak Chintakarnroek said that about 450 jewelry pieces have been returned, but 173 pieces remain missing.

“The missing pieces would be worth about 5 million baht,” he confirmed.

Commander Chonasit added that the gang are also suspected of a similar jewelry theft in Bangkok on April 29 this year.

“They have denied the charges, but they will be charged according to the evidence we have against them,” he said.

“We are still questioning Mr Gonzalez and Ms Abu Bakar as to the whereabouts of the missing jewelry,” the police commander added.

Mr Thongsak praised the quick action by the police.

“I really appreciate what the police have done. We are so lucky to get the jewelry back,” he said.

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-- Phuket Gazette 2012-05-15

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This is from the earlier report linked above . . . . So have they recovered the LOOT OR NOT???

The two suspects were arrested in Trang province last night after being stopped by Highway Police, who searched the car they were travelling in.

Officers found the missing loot hidden in two separate bags inside the car.

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The jeweler claims, that there are another 5m THB in jewelry missing, or where is the number from?

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Mr Thongsak praised the quick action by the police.

“I really appreciate what the police have done. We are so lucky to get the jewelry back,” he said.

Well most of it anyway! Anyone checked the police station?

Yesterday I thought it was a Russian and 2 Malaysians?

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You had to know this was coming... Of course some portion of the jewelry is missing... why would anyone expect any different, given that the police are involved.

As they say, it's never over until the "large lady" sings.... or manages to be found again after slipping out of the Thai police station while on a bathroom visit.

It was reported as a Russian guy yesterday, and nothing about a Mexican in the report I remember reading... Oh well... a Russian or not, two Mexicans, a Turk, etc -- they're all about the same and interchangeable as far as the police are concerned. whistling.gif

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One can only guess what happened to the rest of the items on its way back to the police station. whistling.gif

Edited by Sayonarax

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This probably comes at no surprise, being this is Thailand, but I am really confused here. Let's see, we have Russians, Mexicans, Thai's, Malaysians, what no white falangs? This can't be right.

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Police believe Ms Asseneth to be central to the robbery

Not a robbery. Theft from a vehicle.

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This probably comes at no surprise, being this is Thailand, but I am really confused here. Let's see, we have Russians, Mexicans, Thai's, Malaysians, what no white falangs? This can't be right.

So your saying Russians and Mexicans are Asian or black? Got to be one of those two if not white.

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