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Are Thai Railway’s Really Safe? Riders Robbed of Cash and Cell Phones



Police officers investigating the reported theft on Southbound Express Train no. 37, 5 August 2014

Police officers investigating the reported theft on Southbound Express Train no. 37, 5 August 2014 – Photo Khaosod News


SONGKHLAPassengers on a southbound train were reportedly robbed in their sleep just meters away from the lady-only car installed in the wake of a deadly rape on the same rail route last month.

The incident took place at around 3 am on Thaksin (southbound) Express Train no. 37, which was traveling from Bangkok to Narathiwat province this morning, police said.

According to Pol.Col. Witset Ketpan, deputy commander of Thai Railway Police, nine passengers said they lost their phones and cash in the theft. 30 passengers were in the car at the time, Pol.Col. Wiset said, adding that the perpetrator managed to remove sim cards from all the victims’ phones and left them behind, in order to avoid tracking from the police. 

“I believe the thief was on the same car,” Pol.Col. Wiset said.

Pathom Pinakan, a volunteer ranger who was traveling with three squad mates, said he and his companions were deep in their sleep when the theft happened, and only discovered that their belongings were missing when they woke up at 6 am. He also suspected that he and other victims may have been drugged by the perpetrator. 

“Many other passengers were also robbed,” Mr. Pathom said, “Everyone said the same thing: they were sleeping very deeply. Some also had dazing conditions when they woke up. It’s possible all of us in the car were drugged.”

However, Pol.Col. Wiset  said it is “very unlikely” that the victims were drugged because some of passengers were still conscious when the theft occurred, though he said the police will investigate the claim very seriously. 

Cpt. Panomnoi Thiplai, a police officer at Hat Yai Train Station, said the perpetrator may have departed the train with some other passengers at Thoong Song Train Station in Surat Thani province. He told Khaosod that the police have combed every passenger on the train and none of them is a suspect at the moment. 

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