KOH SAMUI police arrested six suspects on the charges of looting a 384-room luxury hotel that was newly-constructed and decorated before the Covid-19 pandemic hit then remained shut as tourism took a downturn, Matichon newspaper said this afternoon (Sept. 5).
Mrs. Yomana Poolsawat, the owner of Chaweng Blue Lagoon Hotel, The Teak Wing, in Bophut subdistrict said she had been checking her property from time to time but did not think thieves would target a hotel this size.
When she came again after a gap of three months she was shocked that the thieves had ransacked the hotel on which an investment of 400-million baht had been made with losses amounting to 70 million baht.
The criminals took everything including wires, light bulbs, plugs, tables, chairs, bathroom fixtures, water heaters, curtains, door frames, wooden doors, windows, glass panels, air conditioners, water pumps and elevators.
Pol. Col. Yuttana Sirisombat, superintendent of Bophut police station, Pol. Lt. Col. Panumat Chukua, an investigator at this station, together with Internal Security Operations Command Region 4 officers, Koh Samui Tourist Police, Koh Samui district officials and Mr. Ratchaporn Poolsawat, president of the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association, came to inspect the looting and damage.
Pol. Col. Yuttana said after being informed of the huge theft the investigation team had tracked down and arrested six suspects and seized their vehicles which were used in the crime carried out at night.
Investigation is being expanded as it is likely a big gang of criminals was behind the looting of this luxury hotel. Shopkeepers that might have purchased the stolen goods too are being questioned and effort being made to find the stolen fixtures and fittings.
Ratchaporn urged the authorities to quickly arrest all the thieves while pointing out that the looting took place during the pandemic when everything was quiet. However now with tourism reviving all the hotels and other establishments that were shut down have to be inspected to determine whether they too have been similarly hit.
Nonetheless many other hotels that have recently reopened were not looted in this manner.
The luxury hotel was stripped of its fixtures and fittings. Photos: Matichon