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Drama at Royal Thai Police Office: Nava Hongsakul Arrested for Stealing Century-Old Royal Photos

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Police arrested the driver of an advertising tycoon amid a dramatic scenario right in front of the Royal Thai Police Office on a bustling Tuesday afternoon. (Police photo)

In a case that feels like it’s pulled right out of a heist thriller, detectives nabbed Nava Hongsakul, 36, who was steering a luxurious van along Pathumwan district at the time. Nava is alleged to have stolen four irreplaceable, century-old photographs from the palatial residence of his employer during a fiery spectacle in May.

Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thumsuthee, the Metropolitan Police Bureau’s seasoned investigative commander, detailed how Nava had been in the trusted employ of Krisana Thanomsab, CEO of Belink Media, ever since 2022. Throughout his tenure, Nava earned the keys to all corners of Thanomsab’s grand mansion on Udomsuk Road.

The narrative takes a scorching turn on May 4 when a fire ignited from the electrical power control room, plunging the estate into chaos and snuffing out the CCTV surveillance. Amidst the mayhem, the chivalrous driver whisked his boss to safety, but it appears that he had a devilish plan in mind.

While firefighters battled the blaze, Nava is accused of slipping back into the mansion to swipe four photographs dating back approximately 120 years, all featuring the regal bearing of King Rama V. These weren’t just any photographs; each bore the revered signatures and carried the weight of a family heirloom.

As smoke cleared and the mansion was evaluated, Thanomsab made the grim discovery—his invaluable photographs had vanished. He wasted no time in lodging a formal complaint with the authorities.

The detectives didn’t rest on their laurels. Their investigation trail led them to a network of collectors spanning across the provinces of Chon Buri, Nakhon Pathom, and Nonthaburi. These collectors, drawn by the allure of antique royal memorabilia, had forked out a total of 100,000 baht for the stolen goods. It was an impressive sum, but a mere trifle compared to the true, inestimable value of these historic mementos.

Pol Maj Gen Theeradet revealed that Nava ultimately confessed to hawking the priceless loot online. While the photographs may have temporarily travelled under a shadow of deceit, one could only hope they find their righteous place back in the illuminated halls of their rightful owner.


  1. Paul Thompson July 9, 2024

    I am disgusted by the betrayal. Nava was trusted with everything, from the keys to his employer’s mansion to their personal safety, and he chose to exploit that trust.

    • Sarah G July 9, 2024

      I agree, Paul. This is an extreme example of how trust can be violated so easily. Imagine the heartbreak Krisana must feel.

      • HistoryBuff99 July 9, 2024

        Not only that, but the cultural and historical significance of those photos! It’s a crime against heritage itself!

      • Paul Thompson July 9, 2024

        Absolutely, HistoryBuff99. It’s like losing a piece of history forever. I hope they can recover those photographs.

    • Alex M July 9, 2024

      But let’s not forget, this is still just an allegation. Everyone deserves a fair trial before we pass judgment.

  2. Jane D July 9, 2024

    I’m honestly more curious about the fire. How convenient that it knocked out the CCTV right before the theft!

    • Maya July 9, 2024

      That fire sounds suspicious to me too. Maybe it wasn’t just a coincidental electrical malfunction.

      • John K July 9, 2024

        You think it could’ve been arson? To disable the security system?

      • Jane D July 9, 2024

        Exactly, John. It’s too perfect to be a coincidence.

    • TechGeek July 9, 2024

      Modern security systems should have redundancy for this exact reason. It’s absurd that a single fire could compromise the entire setup.

  3. learner2022 July 9, 2024

    What will happen to the people who bought the photos? Will they be in trouble too?

    • Evan L July 9, 2024

      They might face legal consequences if found guilty of knowingly purchasing stolen goods.

  4. Chloe July 9, 2024

    Wow, selling century-old photographs online is just stupid! They’re bound to be discovered.

    • Tom W. July 9, 2024

      Right? That’s the quickest way to get caught.

    • Betty July 9, 2024

      Criminals aren’t always smart, Chloe. Greed makes people do ridiculous things.

      • Chloe July 9, 2024

        I see your point, Betty. Still, it’s mind-boggling.

  5. deep_thinker July 9, 2024

    The cultural ramifications of such a theft are profound. These photographs are part of Thailand’s national heritage and identity.

  6. Tommy July 9, 2024

    How could someone work for you and do such a thing! I could never betray my boss like that.

  7. Lila July 9, 2024

    But why would Nava need to do such a thing? What drives a person to commit such a betrayal?

    • Max July 9, 2024

      Desperation, maybe? Or he thought he could get away with it due to a lack of oversight.

  8. Tanya S July 9, 2024

    Do you think Belink Media’s reputation will take a hit because of this incident?

    • Francis E July 9, 2024

      Possibly. People might start questioning their hiring practices.

  9. oldtimer July 9, 2024

    Young people these days have no respect for history or their elders. In my day, we valued the past.

    • Jake July 9, 2024

      That’s a bit of a broad generalization, oldtimer. Not all young people are like Nava.

      • oldtimer July 9, 2024

        Maybe, but it feels like respect for history is fading.

  10. Marta July 9, 2024

    Can we just talk about the bravery of the detectives involved? They traced these photos to different provinces!

    • Leo W July 9, 2024

      Good point. The competence of the police shouldn’t be overlooked in these situations.

  11. Kelly Davis July 9, 2024

    100,000 baht for those photos? That’s like pocket change compared to their real value!

  12. chasing_truth July 9, 2024

    Why is it always the people closest to you that can hurt you the most?

    • Sophie July 9, 2024

      Because they have access and trust that others don’t. It’s sad but true.

  13. Liam July 9, 2024

    I’m just baffled at how easily valuable items can be stolen in the first place. Why weren’t these photos in a more secure location?

    • Megan July 9, 2024

      That’s a good question. Maybe they were so sentimental that the owner kept them close by.

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