The plan (which had been sanctioned at the highest levels in the Police and Siam Bank Head Office management) was to choose a Buddha celebration day when only a skeleton staff would be working, fewer customers were about, and the traffic not so congested. The (police) guard would let Elroy and Innocent into the bank near closing time to mingle with the customers, and then the manager would activate the fire alarm. While customers were rushing out, Elroy and Innocent would hold up the (police) cashier, and escape in the confusion, with one million baht (US$32,000) in ‘marked’ cash that the police would provide.
They would use guns with no bullets.
Innocent protested at this. “Say some asshole decides to be citizen of the week and attacks us with a pickaxe or something, and we got no way of killing the ‘motherfucker’?”
While the point was conceded, the ‘shopping with a pickaxe’ theory was discounted as being unlikely, especially as the chosen bank was in an up-market residential area. Seeing Innocent getting all riled up, Prik Dum agreed a compromise. The police would permit them to use rubber bullets that would stop an attacker, but not kill. Further, they would set up a police attacker to make it more realistic.
The robbery would be highly publicised and the Police will make it their highest priority to arrest the bandits and send them to jail.
Elroy was bemused. “Why they go to all this trouble and just give us the friggin’ cash?”
Prik Dum explained. “The Chinese must believe that you two actually robbed a major bank, and then laundered the real money with counterfeit money. Their business interests would be compromised. They will want to know how you outsiders got involved in a huge counterfeit operation.”
Innocent wasn’t convinced. “They just tie us to a chair and beat the shit out of us, that’s how they know.”
“We soon have man that not let that happen.” Prik Dum left it at that.
This explaining took awhile, and both Elroy and Innocent, although liking the idea of being Mr. Big, could not quite see how they would act up to it.
“Easy,” said Prik Dum, “We give you Mercedes E200 with cocktail cabinet and chauffeur, Nokia N97 cell phones, Armani silk clothes and crocodile shoes from Milan, tungsten Aviator sunglasses and gold ‘Rolexes’ with genuine Swiss parts, plus two of the loveliest Thai ladies in Bangkok, on call 24 Seven.”
Elroy said, “24 Seven huh? – let’s party Dawg.”
Prik Dum nodded. “Strictly Black Label and soda from now. The plan is infallible.”
Indeed, the Bangkok Post reported exactly that:
Tsunami crime wave hits Bangkok.
At 17.30 p.m. yesterday, the Soi 44 On Nut Siam Commercial bank branch was robbed by two unknown assailants, both wearing black masks, who escaped on motorbikes. Over one million Baht was stolen and one brave citizen holding a commemorative baseball bat, who tried to intervene, was shot and taken to police hospital with serious injuries. Police are questioning some 50 witnesses who heard the bank’s fire alarm and were at the scene of the incident. This latest robbery follows on from the series of all night shop robberies in the last few weeks and police think it could be the same bandits.
In reality, the robbery didn’t happen quite as planned.
It started smoothly enough. The staff had been briefed that a fire alarm drill would take place before closing time. They accepted their ‘new’ cashier on induction training from Head Office and that disruption would be minimal. The regular guard welcomed the additional day’s holiday on full pay. Mr. Mark Nagathornporn, the manager was thanked for his cooperation.
Right on cue, Elroy and Innocent arrived at the bank at 17.25 p.m. The manager pressed the fire alarm, temporarily overriding the CCTV and security shutters, and confusion broke out. The man with the baseball bat bit was real enough and Innocent took great delight in shooting him to the ground and then clubbing him almost senseless before the man was dragged away by some ‘police’ customers.
While Elroy was chatting up the cute police cashier with his hand on her ass (holding her hostage, some witnesses would tell the police) by then both in the main bank hall with the other staff running to the exit, the manager grabbed assorted bundles of mixed currencies in neat billfolds from the till. He slid them inside his new briefcase before re-activating the CCTV and security shutters before following the others. It was now 17.28 p.m. Three minutes had elapsed.
The ‘robbers’ mingled with the panicked crowd and ran out of the bank with the bag of ‘marked’ cash. Avoiding the confusion, they made their way over to the two ‘police’ motorbike riders and escaped.
The manager, by then outside with his back turned to the crowd, hurriedly moved towards a sexy young girl motorcyclist with long black hair and Chinese eyes. She was holding a briefcase. He spoke to the girl and they exchanged briefcases. This took five seconds.
Only one man on a modified Honda 250cc Phantom motorcycle saw this exchange. As she left, he followed her back to an upmarket beauty salon, where a woman looking like the film actress Lucy Lee, greeted her. He waited for an hour or so until, still carrying the briefcase; she came out and rode her motorbike to a back street pool hall called the Lucky-Nine club.