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Tourist operators on the holiday island of Koh Phangan are up in arms after an abduction/robbery of two Russian tourists was allegedly committed by a policeman and four underlings.
But decisive action is what they got. Following the incident on Tuesday four men were arrested on warrants while the policeman in charge of the gang is expected to be in custody shortly.
The alleged ringleader – Suriyan Ranjuan, 50, better known as “Ja Jiap” – is a policeman attached to the Don Sak station on the Surat Thani mainland. He is believed to have fled to Nakorn Sri Thammarat.
A warrant is out for his arrest on a variety of charges including robbery, abduction and false imprisonment.
The same charges were also leveled at four members of the public who made up the gang that bundled the male and female Russian tourists into a car at Hat Rin beach on Tuesday afternoon.
Apidech Khongman, 31, Narin Srikaew, 46, Suriya Reuangthong, 47, and Taweesin Khongnark, 34, were arrested on a warrant at their lodgings on the island yesterday.
A team of 20 officers had taken pat in their arrest after the tourists had reported the incident to Koh Phangan police immediately after their ordeal.
Daily News reported that tourism operators on the island demanded immediate action to arrest all those responsible for making the island look like the “wild west” in the eyes of foreign tourists.
The hunt for the policeman ringleader is now underway with Koh Phangan police saying they expect a quick arrest.