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Police officers, teller accused of robbing Laos

Four police officers were dismissed yesterday after they and a bank teller were arrested for robbing three Laotian employees of Bt3.5 million as they were |returning to their sawmill in Laos.



Three of the officers are from the Highway Police - Pol Snr Sgt-Major Chadawut Nonkhamwong, 39, and Pol Sgt-Majors Ekachai Singthongchai, 35, and Jumnong Raksa, 36.

The other officer, Pol Sgt-Major Narong Boonsinchai, 39, is from the Border Patrol Police. The teller was identified as Phuwit Martlublao, 41.

Pol Maj-General Churat Parn-ngao, commander of Nakhon Phanom Provincial Police, said the three Laotians complained to police on Wednesday that a Highway Police patrol car forced their pickup truck to stop on Nakhon Phanom-Tha Utain Road while they were heading to a bridge crossing the Mekong River back to Laos.

Three men wearing police uniforms forced Sonsai Simaharad, 37, one of the Laotians, to get into their car.

They took Bt3.5 million and a mobile phone from Sonsai and left him by the side of the road after threatening to kill him if he told police.

According to police, the teller told the dismissed officers that Sonsai often withdrew Bt2 million-Bt3 million from his company's account.

The sawmill in Laos did business with Thais and had opened the account with the Thai bank to facilitate its Thai customers' transactions.

The suspects denied charges of theft, but police said they had seized the stolen money from them and returned it to the owner. Police also said they had enough witnesses and evidence to book them.


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