PHUKET – Two foreign tourists Shahram Ghorbaniafshar, 48, from Iran, and Stephane Emery, 42, from France have been charged with stealing more than a million baht in various currencies from guests’ safe deposit boxes at three hotels on this resort island.
Shahram Ghorbaniafshar and Stephane Emery, were arrested at Baan Tonsai Bungalow in Patong at about noon.
“We found cash in several currencies with a net value of about a million baht,” Lt Colonel Sutthichai Tianpho of Patong Police Station said. “We also found screwdrivers and other tools that they used to break into the boxes, as well as the clothes worn when they committed the robberies.”
An exacting search by officers found Bt100,000 hidden in Emery’s rectal cavity.
Police got a spate of reports on Wednesday night from staff of Sutin Guesthouse, Baan Luktan Resort and Sawasdee Guesthouse saying they had been robbed.
“We could see the suspects on the CCTV footage at the guesthouses, but they were wearing helmets,” Sutthichai said.
“So we checked CCTVs along the streets to see which direction they were heading when they left. However, we could not make out the licence plate number.”
Officers later found a motorcycle matching the description of the one used in the robberies parked at the Tonsai Bungalow. The motorbike and two men riding it were placed under surveillance.
“After checking CCTV footage again, we were confident they were the criminals, so we moved in and made the arrests,” he said.
The pair has only been charged for committing thefts, but police are investigating claims that the men drugged hotel staff to commit the crimes.