A female tourist was battered by a Thai thug as the country finally re-opened to holidaymakers amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Alena Seryuk, 56, from Russia, was taking photos of the scenery at the Bali Hai Pier in Pattaya City on November 28 when she was reportedly assaulted in broad daylight by a male suspect.
The man then allegedly stole her purse, her phone, and her cash, leaving her with a black eye and several bruises on her body.
Shaken Alena called the police who immediately launched a manhunt for the man, identified as 42-year-old Kreangsak Klomkaew. He was also known by friends by his nickname as ‘Striped Face Duck’ for his distinct tattoos.
Police said that Kreangsak was a repeat offender with a long track record of committing petty crimes in Rayong province.
Police managed to track him down after checking local pawn shops for the Russian tourist’s stolen phone.
Chonburi Provincial Police Deputy Commander Colonel Maykawit Praditphon said: ‘The suspect stopped on Pattaya Beach after the brazen daylight robbery and hung out with his friends drinking alcohol like nothing happened.
‘We found the suspect by checking local pawn shops and found that the victim’s stolen mobile phone had been sold to a mobile phone shop in Pattaya for 1,500 baht. The shop owner said Klomkaew sold it to them.’
After his arrest, Klomkaew allegedly confessed to the crime adding he did it to earn money for booze and illegal drugs.
He said: ‘I don’t have money and am unemployed. I needed money to buy whiskey and illegal drugs for me and my friends.
‘Pattaya has begun to have tourists again with money after a long closure due to Covid-19 so I decided to attack one for cash.’
He also extended his apologies to Alena who is still recovering from her injuries. Klomkaew now faces theft and assault charges and remains in police custody.
Thailand only re-opened to tourists last month on November 1 after the country had been closed since March 2020.