Five suspects arrested in connection with 196 million yen heist

Five men have been arrested for allegedly robbing 196 million yen or 60 million baht in cash belonging to a jewelry trader at the parking lot of a Ratchadipisek condominium on Tuesday.

Pol Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the national police chief, announced the arrest of Mr Narongchai Sawatdiphol, Mr Chavalit Charoenphol, Mr Surasak Srithawong, Mr Pongsak Pitsiriphan and Mr Krisda Atthavej at a press conference held at the Royal Thai Police on Thursday.

He said police took just two days to arrest the five suspects and seize back all the stolen cash of Mr Pattharit Taerattanachai, the jewelry trader.  He added that suspects were close to the jewelry trader’s staff members who were robbed as they were about to take the money to be kept at the condominium.

The national police chief disclosed that managed to tackle the case in just two days by focusing on individuals close to the two staff members, CCRV footage at the condominium, the use of key cards to enter the condomium and abandoned cigarette butts left at the condomium.

Two more suspects, identified as Sarayuth Ritchainurat and Natthapong Tunyatoon, are still on the run and a manhunt has been launched against them.

Sarayuth is brother-in-law of Narongchai who drove the getaway car after the robbery and Narongchai, the delivery man who brought the money from Japan.

Pol Gen Chakthip said he had coordinated with Anti-Money Laundering Office and Japanese police to trace the trail of the 196 million yen to find out whether the money was linked to any organized criminal gang in Japan or not.