Two Thai police officers were shot and wounded last week as they attempted to arrest a suspected illegal gambling operator, The Bangkok Post reports
According to witnesses, several police officers arrived Wednesday at a luxury residence on the perimeter of the Phoenix Golf Course and County Club in Bang Lamung, near Pattaya in eastern Thailand.
A police spokesman said Capt. Phanthep Sribunnag, chief of the Pattaya police station’s special operations team, and Snr. Sgt. Maj Kreetha Thipnate of the Pattaya police station approached the property and showed a search warrant to a male occupant. But he fled to the top floor of the house and opened fire when officers gave chase.
A police spokesperson said the man also used tear gas against advancing police.
Capt. Phanthep was hit three times in the shoulder, chest, and stomach, and is in a serious condition. Sgt. Maj. Kreetha was shot in the right leg.
A SWAT team was dispatched to the property to arrest the suspected shooter. He was later identified in media reports as Jang Yang, 35.
Triad Links Alleged
Jang has been charged with attempted murder, resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, and illegal possession of a firearm.
Police seized found two guns in the house, one of which was a modified 9mm, as well as bullet-proof vests. Police also found three luxury cars – a Porsche, a Rolls-Royce, and a Mercedes Benz — all with Bangkok number plates, parked on the grounds of the house. They also confiscated documents and computers, which are being analyzed by the Anti-Money Laundering Office.
Authorities believe they have unearthed an online gambling operation with links to the triads.
Eight other people, including five Chinese nationals, a gardener, and two maids, were also detained.
Who is Jang Yang?
Jang is a citizen of Saint Kitts and Nevis and not a Chinese national, as had been stated in earlier reports. Citizenship of the dual island Caribbean tax haven can be easily acquired by foreigners willing to invest.
Jang’s lawyer, Anirut Khongsap, denied his client had links to online gambling or organized crime. Khongsap said Yang has run a successful real-estate business for the past two to three years. The incident was most likely a misunderstanding because of miscommunication, he said.
The Bangkok Post cites a “highly placed source” who said Yang confessed to the shooting during questioning but claimed he did not know that the men had been police officers. He said he thought they might be criminals trying to kidnap him for ransom.
The police spokesman confirmed the officers had been plain-clothed.
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