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Russians nabbed in Phuket, charged with stealing ancient painting

THREE of four Russians wanted for the theft of an ancient painting from a Swiss man in Pattaya were arrested in Phuket today (Sept. 8) under warrants issued by Chonburi court, Siam Rath newspaper said.

Immigration police in Phuket raided two houses in Koh Kaew sub-district, Mueang district, Phuket, under a search warrant issued by Phuket court and rounded up Mr. Olek Tarakhnov, 51,  Ms. Alena Zakharova, 33, and Mr. Maxim Sukharev, 33. The fourth suspect in this case, Mr. Alexei Gussikin, 19, has left the country. 

The first two suspects live together in a villa they rented for 50,000 baht a month while the third suspect lives in a separate house but visits them everyday.

The arrest of the three suspects stemmed from a complaint filed by Mr. Henry Victor, a Swiss national, to Na Chom Thian patrol police office on December 8, 2020 that on July 30, 2020, at around 6:00 p.m., Tarakhnov and the other suspects had forcibly entered his room and attacked and threatened him and in fear he handed over one of four paintings he had bought from them for 700,000 baht.

According to the agreement the ancient painting the suspects took away from him, which is worth 50 million baht, was to have been auctioned and the money shared among them.

However they later broke the agreement and violently took it away, he said.


The Russian suspects being questioned in Phuket today. Photos: Siam Rath


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