A Chinese man in Pattaya has been arrested after shooting and wounding two police officers from the transnational crime team with a machine gun. The two plain clothed police officers were shot and wounded as they were trying to serve an arrest warrant with regards to an online gambling syndicate.
Members of the SWAT special police task force entered the premises after the shooting and arrested the Chinese man, identified the man as Yang Zhang, 35.
Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Suchart Theerasawat said police had followed proper procedure and showed a search warrant at the door, but a foreign tenant fled to the upper floors and opened fire at them.
Eight other people – five Chinese nationals, a gardener and two maids – were also detained, police said.
According police, there were three luxury cars – a Porsche, a Rolls-Royce and a Mercedes Benz, parked on the house grounds, a compound covering more than one Rai of land.
Mr Jang was charged with shooting Pol Capt Phanthep Sribunnag, chief of Pattaya police station’s special operations team, and Pol Snr Sgt Maj Kreetha Thipnate, of Pattaya police station, during a raid on the house.
Pol Capt Phanthep sustained three gunshot wounds – to his shoulder, chest and stomach. He was admitted to Chon Buri Hospital in a serious condition. Pol Snr Sgt Maj Kreetha was shot in the right leg and admitted to Bangkok Pattaya Hospital.
The two officers were working with the Provincial Police Region 2’s transnational crime suppression team.
Natthawut Donchaisong, 41, a gardener, told the Bangkok Post he was cutting grass in front of the house when police arrived in 3-4 cars, got out of the vehicles and approached the house.
He said he heard the sound of knocking on the glass door twice, followed by gunshots from inside the house. He heard at least 10 shots and he quickly ran and hid in front of the house.
A member of the team involved in the raid said they were armed with a search warrant and went to the house to execute it. Mr Jang inside had opened fire at them.
A combined team of Chon Buri, tourist and immigration police inspects the scene on Wednesday evening, led by Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang, acting chief of Chon Buri police. A Pattaya police source told CTN news that over 18 million baht is cash and assets were seized by officers from the transnational crime team.
The deputy national police said police had followed proper procedures. They produced a search warrant before entering the premises.
Police have pressed three counts against Mr Zhang – attempted murder, resisting officers by use of a weapon, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Pol Gen Suchart said other people living at the house, foreigners and a Thai man, were also detained.
All would be investigated, particularly the foreigners, to find out whether they posed a threat to national security under the Immigration Act. If they were in breach of the law they would be deported.