Gold shop heist linked to insurgents

Gold shop heist linked to insurgents

Police find a van used by armed men in the gold robbery in Na Thawi district in a rubber plantation, about 15 kilometres from the gold shop. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)
Police find a van used by armed men in the gold robbery in Na Thawi district in a rubber plantation, about 15 kilometres from the gold shop. (Photo by Assawin Pakkawan)

Songkhla: The robbery of a gold shop in Na Thawi district on Saturday, in which a group of armed robbers made off with gold worth over 85 million baht, could be linked to the southern insurgency, police said on Sunday.

While the police are still waiting for more forensic evidence to back up their theory, investigators are 80% sure the case is related to the unrest in the South, said the commissioner of Provincial Police Region 9, Pol Lt Gen Ronasilp Phusara.

"The reason is because [the robbery] was well planned, and it reminded investigators of the Aug 16, 2017 robbery of Wang To Car Centre -- in which five cars stolen from the shop were used in several bombings," he said.

A van, which the group hijacked in Pattani's Nong Chik district, was used in Saturday's robbery at Hangthong Suthada gold shop.

According to witness accounts, there were between 17-20 people involved, he said.

"[The suspects] appeared to have planned the robbery well. Some were responsible for hijacking the van, some held the hijacked van's driver back, while others took the robbers to their target," he said.

"Some of the robbers dressed up as women and posed as customers," he said.

"Other suspects were dressed in camouflage jackets and jeans, not exactly dissimilar to standard military camouflage outfits."

More information on the suspects' identities is expected in the next couple of days, he said, before adding that fingerprints and other evidence collected from the location where the van was hijacked and the gold shop are being examined.

"The investigation at this point found the suspects travelled in the hijacked van to the gold shop in Songkhla," he said. "They left the van in a rubber plantation in tambon Tha Pradu before fleeing in different directions."


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (5)

US weekly jobless claims drop below 2m

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped below 2 million last week for the first time since mid-March, but remains astonishingly high as companies adjust to an environment that has been significantly changed by Covid-19.

4 Jun 2020

ECB expands, extends bond-buying programme

FRANKFURT: The European Central Bank beefed up its bond-buying programme on Thursday in its latest effort to support a euro zone economy pummelled by more than two months of shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

4 Jun 2020

Brazil, Mexico see record deaths

RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil and Mexico reported record daily coronavirus death tolls as governments in Latin America battled to fortify their defenses against the pandemic with fresh lockdown orders and curfews.

4 Jun 2020