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A high-ranking government official says robbers stole 12 million baht from his home. One of the robbers says they stole 200 million and there may have been up to a billion baht in the house.
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The residence of permanent secretary for transport Supoj Saplom in Wang Thonglang district was unusually quiet on Friday following a robbery that has turned Mr Supoj from a victim to a possible suspect in a corruption probe. TAWEECHAI TAWATPAKORN
The great home robbery
All of a sudden the robbery of a home has become the "talk of the town."
What is fascinating people is not just the money that was taken, but the money that was alleged to have been left behind.
The story began on Nov 11 when permanent secretary for transport Supoj Saplom reported to police that his house had been broken into and 12 million baht was missing.
Two of the suspected burglars – Singthong Jaichuenchom 44, and Saokaew Namwong, 59 – were caught on Thursday.
They allegedly confessed they took away not 12 million baht, but more than 200 million in cash from Mr Supoj's house in Lat Phrao Soi 64 in Bangkok's Wang Thonglang district.
But that huge haul, according to one of the robbers, was less than half of what they left behind.
According to police, Mr Singthong said that when he, Mr Saokaew and four other men, including the gang leader, broke into Mr Supoj's house, they found between 700 million baht and 1 billion baht stashed away in bags.
Pol Maj Gen Winai Thongsong, acting chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, yesterday said two more suspects had been arrested in Uttaradit. Nine million baht in cash was seized from them, the officer said. The suspects, known only by their first names of Wanaikrit and Boonsueb, were being taken to Bangkok for questioning.
Pol Maj Gen Winai said video footage from security cameras showed members of the gang had made away with large bags, which could mean they had stolen a lot of money.
The question everyone is asking is how could have a government official have honestly amassed such a huge amount of cash?
It is important to remember that we don’t know that he did. We only have the word of a robber.
Mr Supoj has been transferred to an inactive post pending an investigation.
Mr Supoj himself explained that the money he had reported as stolen was the dowry he received on the marriage of his daughter. He declined to say how much it was. He insisted it was none of his personal money. "I don't keep my money at home," he said.
Adapted from a story in today's Bangkok Post by Amornrat Mahitthirook and King-Oua Laohong. You can read the full story here: http://bit.ly/tv6Fie
residence – a place where someone lives บ้านพัก
robbery – the crime of stealing money or goods from a bank, shop/store, person, etc การปล้น, การโจรกรรม
victim – someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
suspect – a person who is thought to have committed a crime ผู้ต้องสงสัย
probe – an attempt to find out the truth about an issue, problem or accident, made by an official group (or by the media); an investigation การตรวจสอบ การสอบสวน
all of a sudden – suddenly; quickly and unexpectedly อย่างกะทันหัน
fascinate – to interest someone a lot ทำให้ลุ่มหลง ดึงดูดใจ
alleged – claimed to be true although not yet proven ที่ถูกกล่าวหา
burglar – someone who enters a building illegally in order to steal things ผู้ร้ายย่องเบา, คนลักขโมยของ,
confess – to admit that you have committed a crime สารภาพผิด
cash – money in the form of notes or coins เงินสด
haul – an usually large amount of something that has been stolen or is illegal or something that has been taken from criminals by the police ของที่ถูกขโมยไปหรือถูกยึดไป
stash – to hide or store a large amount of something ซ่อนไว้, เก็บไว้
arrested – caught by the police and taken to a police station because you are believed to have committed a crime ถูกจับกุม
seized – taken away by force or official power ถูกยึกครอง
footage – film or video of a particular subject or event ฟิลม์หรือคลิปภาพยนตร์ หรือวิดีโอ
amass – to collect a lot of something over a period of time รวบรวม
transferred – changed someone’s job or responsibilities โยกย้ายตำแหน่ง
post – a job in a company or organisation ตำแหน่งการงาน
inactive post – a job or position where there is no important work to do
pending – waiting to be dealt with, settled or completed ยังค้างอยู่, ซึ่งยังไม่จบสิ้น, อยู่ในระหว่าง
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something การสอบสวน
dowry – money and/or property that, in some societies, a husband must pay to his wife's family when they get married ; money and/or property that, in some societies, a wife or her family must pay to her husband when they get married; สินสอดทองหมั้น, สินสมรส
decline – to say politely that you will not do something ปฏิเสธ
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
personal – your own; not belonging to or connected with anyone else ส่วนตัว