National police chief Suwat Jangyodsuk has ordered police to expand their investigation into a foreign criminal network in Chon Buri after two officers were shot during a shootout on Wednesday.
The police were shot and wounded at a high-end house on a golf course in Bang Lamung district, near Pattaya. Police suspected the venue housed an online gambling operation. A Chinese man was later arrested and charged.
Eight other people – 5 Chinese nationals, a gardener and 2 maids – were also detained by the police.
“I have instructed Pol Lt Gen Saengsawang to prosecute all suspects they found, as well as expand the investigation to cover other accomplices,” Pol Gen Jangyodsuk said, referring to Pol Lt Gen Thiti Saengsawang, acting commander of Chon Buri Provincial Police. “We must not let them escape.”
Pol Gen Jangyodsuk wants to know how and when the foreign nationals entered the kingdom. He also wants the investigation expanded to identify who is behind the network.
Police found three luxury cars – a Porsche, a Rolls-Royce and a Mercedes Benz, all with Bangkok plates – at the house on the golf course, a compound covering more than one rai of land.
Officers from a police special task force entered the premises after the shooting and arrested a Chinese man. Thai media identified the man as Jang Yang, 35.
Jang was charged with shooting two police officers during a raid earlier on the house on Wednesday. The two officers were taken to hospitals, and one of them is now in serious condition.
Natthawut Donchaisong, 41, a gardener, told police he was cutting grass in front of the house when police arrived in three to four cars, got out of their vehicles and approached the premises.
He said he heard knocks on the house’s glass door followed by gunshots. He said he heard at least 10 shots being fired as he quickly ran for cover near the front of the house.
A police source said a 9mm machine pistol was used in the shooting. Officers reportedly found more than 40 spent 9mm bullet cartridges inside the house near the front door.
The injured officers were reportedly among seven police officers armed with a search warrant from the Pattaya Provincial court who went to the house. They were said to be looking for evidence that a group of Chinese nationals were renting the house.