A down-on-his-luck foreigner who was caught stealing food from a supermarket had a welcome surprise – when the police paid the bill and gave him the change.
The bitter-sweet situation unfolded when the unnamed Western man stuffed around 500 baht worth of snacks into his top at the Esplanade shopping mall in the Ratchada area of Bangkok on Wednesday lunch time.
A security guard caught him red-handed and with the help of a passing Grab rider, they detained the man while they waited for the boys in brown to arrive.
However, what happened next stunned everyone in the shop, who were gathering round to watch the farang get his punishment served up.
An on-duty officer from the nearby station arrived to assess the situation but rather than whisk away the guy in a police pickup truck, he produced 1,000 baht to pay the bill.
Then, he gave the shabbily dressed tourist the change.
”The policeman realised straight away that the foreigner wasn’t stealing for money,” said an onlooker who witnessed the mele.
”Usually, thieves take alcohol or expensive things, so when the policeman checked the goods he saw that the man only had food and he was trying to steal them because he was hungry.”
The witness described how the officer checked the foreigner’s passport, which showed he had been over-staying for more than a month. He claimed he was stuck in Thailand because of the fall-out from the coronavirus and here legally under the visa amnesty rule.
Realising that the paperwork involved with taking him to the station and booking him in for theft would be more work than it’s worth, he decided to solve the situation his own way.
The policeman put the items in a trolley and paid the supermarket for them, whose staff would have been forced to foot the bill for missing or damaged items at the end of the shift.
After handing the food to the man, he then helped him out by giving him the rest of the change from the 1,000 baht note.
Onlookers who watched in disbelief described how the policeman calmly advised the tourist to visit his Embassy for help fixing his situation.
They said: ”I was truly shocked, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing. In then end, everybody in the shop felt sorry for the farang.
”He thought he was going to be in serious trouble when he was caught stealing and kept saying ’embassy, embassy’.
”But the policeman was so kind and understanding. He knew that the man had no money and needed the food. He took him out to the side of the building and let him go.
”The policeman explained to us that there are already procedures for handling tourists who have no money or can’t get home, so it would be better for the person to go there.
”So many people are struggling at the moment because of the pandemic, so it was so nice to see the police using common sense and helping people who need it.”
Chemical Engineer Caught Running ‘E’ And Meth Lab In Nonthaburi
A chemical engineer who turned to producing Ecstacy pills and crystal meth at his condo in Nonthaburi was arrested this morning by officers from the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
The Saturday morning raid on a building in Bang Kruai District, Nonthaburi was led by Police General Manu Makemok, Deputy Commissioner General, Royal Thai Police and Police Lieutenant General Montree Yimyaem, commissioner of the Narcotics Suppression Bureau.
Inside the apartment, the prime suspect, 42-year-old suspect Patiwet “Heisenberg” Suwankiri was apprehended.
Drug production equipment and chemical precursors were seized along with 20,000 Ecstacy tablets and 50 grams of crystal meth.
Police General Manu said that the Narcotics Suppression Bureau got a tip that there was a group of pill producers who sold E tablets to entertainment venues in Bangkok.
A surveillance operation was set up and pinpointed Prayoon Thapinna as the dealer. He was taken in for questioning and soon after he folded like a deckchair telling cops who “Heisenberg” was.
During questioning “Heisenberg” was evasive saying he sold the drugs to tourists and that he imported the chemical precursors from online dealers.
Police dismissed both explanations as tourism in Thailand is virtually non-existent due to Covid-19 and the chemicals and tools needed to produce the E and meth have been on a banned list for many years.
He did admit to producing the drugs in his apartment saying he used the knowledge from when he studied chemical engineering
Investigators are working to find more people involved in the operation as the set-up was capable of producing around 3,000 tablets per day.
Photo Credit: 77kaoded
CCSA Overturn BMA Order To Reopen Parks, Other Businesses
The Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration has overturned the plan by the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to allow five types of businesses and venues, including public parks and beauty salons, to open June 1.
Following the BMA Communicable Disease Committee meeting on Monday it was announceed that restrictions on traditional Thai massage parlours, museums, public parks, botanical gardens, learning centres, spas, nail and beauty salons and tattoo parlours would be lifted.
The news was welcomed by many with business owners getting to work in preperation for the sudden rreopening.
Then came the infamous flip-flop by the government when it was reported the CCSA had put the plan on hold for at least a further 14 days.
No reason was given for the sudden change.
Public Parks In Bangkok Reopening Jun 1
This order was later overturned by the CCSA and the plan has been put on hold for at least a further 14 days.
Following a meeting of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration Communicable Disease Committee today, it has been announced that public parks in the capital can reopen from June 1.
The committee, chaired by Governor Aswin, also lifted restrictions on traditional Thai massage parlours, museums, botanical gardens, learning centres, spas, nail and beauty salons and tattoo parlours.
Other establishments currently shuttered are to remain closed until at least June 14, 2021.
The news comes despite the capital reporting over 1,300 Covid-cases on Monday, however, the current crop of clusters are in migrant worker camps and wet markets.
While most welcomed the news that parks will reopen allowing outdoor exercise again, dozens in the expat community continued to grumble that gyms and fitness centres will remain closed.