Thai debt-ridden politician robs gold shopSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 01/10/2012 9:25 pm in World / no comments
BANGKOK, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) — A Thai man who ran but failed in a local election has been arrested for robbing a gold shop to pay debts he owed from buying votes.
Trirat Wongwian was arrested Sunday in Pakkred area of Nonthaburi province, northwest of Bangkok, after he had allegedly robbed the gold shop in Udorn Thani province’s Baan Pue district and made off with some 116,000 U.S. dollars worth gold laces in late August, police said.
A 11-mm handgun was seized at his rented apartment house alongside some cash.
The 34-year-old man had run in vain for head of Tambon Nayok Orbortor in Noansa-ad district a few months ago.
His wife, Napaporn Kwang-im, was earlier arrested as accomplice who had allegedly conspired to rob the gold shop in the northeastern district, the police said.
The 55-year-old woman told the police she had borrowed as much as three million baht (100,000 U.S. dollars) to finance his electoral campaign. Most of the borrowed money had been used to buy votes from villagers of Tambon Thomna-ngarm where her husband was born and raised.
Following his defeat in the running for Nayok Orbortor’s seat, Trirat settled Napaporn’s debts by selling most of the gold laces which he had robbed, police said.
Another young man, identified as Pongpan Pao-im, was arrested also as alleged accomplice. The 25-year-old allegedly helped Trirat in the heist at the gold shop and drove a pickup truck to get away from the scene.
Armed with handguns and clad with black hoods, Trirat and Pongpan stormed into Porncharoen Goldshop attended by a single shopkeeper at the time. They made off with the jewels without hurting him, police said.