Phuket, Thailand. Sept. 2nd. Police in Phuket, Thailand on Thursday night arrested and paraded a Nigerian man for allegedly robbing and shooting a Russian woman in the island-province as well as breaking into several houses and committing several burglaries there. The woman, 52 years old Russian expat Elena Kharenko, said she woke up at around 3.30am on August 30 and saw burglars inside her luxurious house near the Rawai beach. She was shot and severely injured when she shouted for help. The thieves carried away a safe box and other valuables.
Chijioke James Chukwunweike, 27, was arrested at a rented house in Moo 2 village in Tambon Rawai in Phuket’s Muang district on Thursday night. Police found a total of 92 stolen items and other valuables at the rented house, suspected to have been stolen. The Nigerian man denied robbing or attacking the Russian woman. Police also arrested 33 years old Sasipa “Pui” Nakhontaisong, his girlfriend, for robbery as she attempted to ship Elena’s notebook computer to her sister who lives in another province.
Phuket police chief Pol Colonel Akanit Danphithaksat himself went to the Chalong Police Station to interrogate the suspect. Colonel Akanit Danphithaksat has announced that the Nigerian suspect, James Chukwunweike Chijioke, the suspect for a shooting robbery in Rawai will be charged with robbery and attempted murder even though he denied all the charges. The Police say they have enough evidence to prove his guilt.
Police have contacted the owners of the long list of valuables seized from the suspect’s house. Several house owners in the Rawai area, whose houses had been burgled, also came to the police station to check the seized valuables. One of them, Sasithorn Temphan, 39, identified a Louis Vuitton handbag and two luxury watches as belonging to her.
Photo: Chijioke James Chukwunweike
All victims reported that they were robbed and threatened. The thief mainly took safe boxes. Three victims have so far verified their valuables including 2 Thais and a Canadian.
After using the CCTV camera footage to follow the suspect and receiving detailed information from the Russian victim, police say they have enough proof to continue the suppression progress.
Police also reported that the suspect had been staying illegally in Thailand.