Gunman robs Kata currency exchange booth

30 Apr 2012

A man robbed a currency exchange booth at gunpoint in one of Phuket’s principal tourist hubs on Saturday evening. Cashier Janya Siwasutam, 29, said she was working alone at the booth when the robbery took place just after 22:00.

The teller said there seemed nothing unusual about the robber when he got off his motorbike and walked up to the cubicle. She continued by saying that when he reached the window he pointed his weapon at her and pushed a plastic pouch through the security screen slot.

Ms Siwasutam said the man told her to fill the bag with money, which she did, and he left quickly. When questioned by police, the alert cashier managed to give a good description of the hold-up man and his getaway vehicle.

She said he was quite stocky and spoke with an accent from southern Thailand, and was wearing a crash helmet with lots of insignia on it. She described his motorcycle as a white Yamaha Fino which had distinctive magnesium alloy wheels.

Police said that the equivalent of 48,000 Baht had been taken in the robbery at the Kasikorn Bank exchange kiosk. They added that the bank branch the booth is attached to only opens during normal working hours, but the exchange facility stays open until 23:00. The kiosk is located near the Kata Beach Resort and is used regularly by foreign tourists.

In November last year, a bandit got away with more than 1.5 million Baht in a robbery at an exchange kiosk in nearby Karon. Phuket police later managed to apprehend the alleged robber. One of the two bank tellers on duty at the time of the raid was later arrested with police saying they believed he had helped plan it. 

Tags: Gunman exchange booth

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