SURAT THANI – Thai Police have arrested two Moroccans and an Algerian on Tuesday on charges of stealing tourists’ belongings at a resort on Koh Phangan.
Bouma Diani, 40, Bahlou Lachraf, 26, and Muhammad (last name not given), 28, fled to Krabi after the thefts, according to police.
They were apprehended as they were purchasing tickets to Phi Phi Island, said Pol Col Pornsak Nuannoo, deputy commander of Surat
Thani provincial police.
Electronic devices, personal items, money from various countries, and burglary tools were seized as evidence.
Mayuree Sae-Ngao, owner of Haad Yao Bayview Resort, reported to the police last Sunday that three foreigners broke into her guests’ rooms and stole their valuables.
Police tracked down the gang using the built-in GPS system inside one of the stolen phones.
Pol Col Pornsak said the three suspects admitted they had travelled in and out of Thailand five times, making at least 500,000 baht each trip from stealing.
The men said they targeted tourists. They sold the phones and similar items to stores at MBK Centre in Bangkok, and split the other stolen items among themselves.
Many tourists have recently complained of their belongings being stolen on Koh Samui and Koh Phangan and often blamed local people, said Pol Col Pornsak. This was bad for Thailand’s image.
He said the three foreigners were charged at Koh Phangan police station with stealing and causing damage to other people’s property.