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Russian’s Arrested for US$1.5 Million Dollar Art Theft in Pattaya

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Three Russian suspects were arrested for allegedly stealing a US$1.5 Million dollar painting from a Swiss art dealer in Pattaya last November before escaping to Phuket.

The arrests were made jointly by the Investigation Department of the Immigration Service (IB) the Immigration Department and Chon Buri provincial police.

Russian citizens Olek Tarakhnov, 51, Alek Sie, 19, Maxim Sukharev, 33, and Alena Zakharova, 33, are suspected of hiding in Phuket.

Investigators acquired a tip-off that Mr Tarakhnov and Ms Zakharova had been dwelling collectively at Grace Garden Villa, and Mr Sukharev resided alone at Habitown Villa in tambon Koh Kaew in Phuket.

Chon Buri police investigators asked Phuket Provincial Court to issue arrest warrants for the suspects and arrested them yesterday. A police source said yesterday that the four robbed a Swiss citizen and stole a painting worth US$1.5 Million dollars in Pattaya city last November.

The Russian’s were all caught and released on bail, but then skipped bail and fled to Phuket. All three claimed the incident was a misunderstanding. However, Chon Buri police said the Swiss man claimed a deal had been struck.

The Russian men agreed to buy the US$1.5 Million painting then attacked the art dealer and stole the painting. The Russian consulate in Phuket told authorities and the insurance company that its security staff will try to find the painting.

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