Saturday, November 26, 2011

Currency Exchange Kiosk in Phuket Robbed of US$62,000

Two staffers at a currency exchange kiosk in the popular Phuket tourist area of Karon Beach were bound and gagged and robbed at knife-point by a single assailant at approximately 2000 hours on November 26 of mixed currencies with a total value of about 2 million baht (equal to US$62,000).

Amnard Ponpramun, 27, told the Phuket Gazette that he and co-worker Wilaiwan Khao-ong, 22, were closing up the Siam Commercial Bank currency exchange on Patak Road when the robbery occurred.

The employees were getting ready to exit the kiosk when a man armed with a knife pushed his way into the enclosure. After forcing the two staffers to open the safe, he then bound the two employees with tape, as well as across their mouths, to keep them from calling for help.

COMMENT: Eventually the two employees worked themselves free to call for help. Unfortunately, the closed-circuit television camera (CCTV) in front of the kiosk was not functioning, but because the lights had been turned off, the cameras inside the kiosk did not reflect clear images.

The armed robbery of exchange kiosks is not a common occurrence in Thailand, but because the assailant spoke a southern dialect of Thai, it is suspected that he knew the area well and had studied the cameras and lighting and how to circumvent his image being captured on the CCTV.

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