This is the dramatic moment armed police had a shootout with suspected Chinese gangsters hiding in a mansion in central Thailand.
SWAT team officers served a search warrant at the luxury property allegedly owned by members of a Chinese online gambling mafia connected to drugs in Pattaya on May 19.
As the police positioned themselves outside, one of the men in the mansion identified as Zhang Yang, 35, from St Kitts and Nevis allegedly opened fire on the officers.
Two officers, Captain Panthep Sriboonnak and Senior Sergeant Major Greetha Thipnet, were rushed to the hospital after sustaining gunshots to their chest, stomach, and shoulders.
Police Major General Thiti Saengsawang who led the team inside the house said eight foreigners – six Chinese including Zhang and two Burmese maids – were arrested after the shootout.
He said: ‘The other five Chinese were friends and families of Zhang while the two immigrants from Myanmar worked as maids. Zhang will be charged with attempted murder.’
General Thiti added that more police joined their team after a backup was requested so they were able to throw smoke bombs in the property until the Chinese man surrendered.
He said: ‘We requested backup and controlled the area by throwing smoke bombs to disorient the foreigners. We collected 40 bullet casings in the area after the shootout.’
A Thai gardener Nuttawut Donchaisong, 41, was tending to the front yard when the police officers arrived. He was arrested and was instead questioned as a witness.
Nuttawut said: ‘I was working in the yard when the team of police came knocking at the door of the house but I didn’t expect the gunfight so I had to find shelter outside.’
Computers and documents found inside the estate were confiscated as evidence while three luxury Rolls-Royce cars parked in the garage were also taken away.
More weapons such as riot shields, bulletproof vests, bulletproof barriers and bags of ammunition were seized from the mansion but no illegal drugs were found.
The Chinese men were detained at the station where their lawyer Anirut Khongsup said Zhang ran a legitimate real estate business which explained his wealth.
He said: ‘He has ran a property company for a few years. We have to examine the legitimacy of the search and what caused him to attack the police.
‘The house was bought under his company’s name because he was cautious of being kidnapped for being a wealthy foreigner. His weapons are also legal.’
Investigations are still ongoing on the incident.