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Pattaya Daily News

28 October 2009 :: 10:10:50 am 8555

Fugitive Australian Thief Of Aus$1 Million Ring Arrested In Pattaya

Pattaya, October 28, 2009, [PDN]. Bangkok Immigration Police arrested an Australian fugitive early on the morning of October 26 in Pattaya. The man is accused of having staged a daring smash-and-grab from a Melbourne jewellery store in which he stole several items of jewellery, including a diamond ring worth almost Aus$ 1 million. The man initially denied the charge, but later confessed. He is likely be extradited to Australia to face charges after a preliminary trial in Bangkok.
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The police surprised the 30-year old man, George Georgiou, who was staying with his Thai girlfriend in P.S.Apartment, Central Pattaya, at 12.30 am, on 26 October. Georgiou had entered Thailand via Suvarnabhumi Airport from Melbourne on October 17. The police confronted Georgiou with an arrest warrant issued by the Victoria police, dated 19 August, 2009, in connection with a robbery from upmarket Hardy Brothers Jewellers , Melbourne ,Victoria, where jewellery items were stolen, including a 9.1 karat diamond ring, worth about Aus1$million/ Bt 30 million. The incident had apparently happened at 4.40 pm, on 29 March 2009. On the arrest warrant was a photo, which Georgiou acknowledged was of him, along with his name and other details, but he initially refused to accept the charge, professing his innocence.

The Bangkok Immigration Police team, led by Pol.Lt.Col. Pariwat Satjatham, were acting in collaboration with the local police on behalf of the Victoria police, who had requested the aid of the Thai police, co-ordinated through the Office of the Attorney General. The request was made by the Victoria police following the discovery that Georgiou had fled to Pattaya. Police asked him to explain certain evidence found in his possession, namely a white item similar to diamond, 7 green precious stones, 4 pink ones, a blue one, a jewellery scale, a device for measuring the size of jewellery items, 2 magnifying glasses, a bank book with Bt900,000 baht, a mobile phone and 50 small plastic jewellery bags. When presented with this evidence, Georgiou said the jewellery items were fake, and that he had bought them all in Pattaya and Bangkok.

The Bangkok Immigration Police then arrested him and took him back to Bangkok to hold him in custody. At a press conference held at 2pm the same day, police revealed that, after questioning Georgiou, he had, in fact, confessed to the robbery, but had maintained all the jewellery he had stolen had been sold on to jewellery shops and other individuals (‘fences’) whose names are being withheld. Georgiou said he was a jewellery collector. He will initially stand trial at the Bangkok Criminal Court, before a decision is taken as to whether or not to extradite him to Australia.

The Brisbane Times reported at the time of the robbery that the thief – “dressed in black and wearing a black beanie – used a 1.8-kilogram hammer to smash the hole in the display window of Hardy Brothers Jewellers in Collins Street. Detective Senior Constable Al Brgoc of Melbourne City detectives said he was surprised by the brazen nature of the theft.” The thief apparently “grabbed the hand-made 9.1 carat round brilliant cut solitaire engagement ring, billed by Hardy Brothers as the Million Dollar Ring, and fled into an arcade and along nearby Equitable Place,” The Brisbane Times reported on March 30, 2009… The robbery was apparently conducted in broad daylight at 4.40pm, when there were a considerable number of shoppers and people waiting at a tram stop nearby.

Reporter : Kampee   Photo : Kampee   Category : Crime News

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