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Nava Hongsakul’s Shocking Heist: Royal Thai Police Bust Man for Theft of Historic Royal Photos

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It was a scene straight out of a heist movie! Imagine the shockwave that rippled across Bangkok when police nabbed Nava Hongsakul, a man who had seemingly been living a double life right under his boss’s nose. Captured in a dramatic turn of events, Nava was apprehended right in front of the Royal Thai Police headquarters on a sunny Tuesday afternoon. The backdrop of this unforgettable arrest was nothing short of theatrical.

Nava, 36, had been employed as a driver for advertising mogul Krisana Thanomsab, CEO of Belink Media. His journey began in 2022, when the native of Samut Prakan stepped into the life of Thanomsab, seemingly just another chauffeur. What nobody suspected was the hidden agenda that lay beneath his outwardly loyal demeanor.

It was a tranquil day on May 4 when fate played into Nava’s hands. A sudden fire erupted in the electrical control room of Thanomsab’s grand mansion on Udomsuk Road. The blaze knocked out the CCTV system, cloaking the mansion in a blind spot. Amidst the chaos, Nava bravely escorted his boss out of the burning building, gaining accolades for his heroic effort. Or so everyone thought.

Little did anyone know, Nava wasn’t just a knight in shining armor; he had ulterior motives. Navigating through the thickening smoke and panic, he stealthily slipped back into the mansion and made off with four invaluable photographs of King Rama V, artifacts dating back nearly 120 years complete with royal autographs. These photos weren’t just any collectibles; they were an indelible part of Thanomsab’s family heritage.

Once the fire was subdued, a grim realization hit Thanomsab – the treasured photographs were missing. Acting swiftly, he lodged a complaint with the police. The net was cast wide, and a squadron of detectives, led by Pol Maj Gen Theeradet Thumsuthee, sprang into action. The hunt for the invaluable relics had begun, and the plot thickened with every passing moment.

The detectives’ relentless pursuit bore fruit when they traced the stolen photographs to avid collectors in Chon Buri, Nakhon Pathom, and Nonthaburi. The once-priceless images had been sold for a combined sum of 100,000 baht, a paltry price for such irreplaceable history. Pol Maj Gen Theeradet announced that Nava, under mounting pressure, admitted to his deceit. He had listed the photographs online, capitalizing on their historical significance for his gain.

Nava’s past began revealing more jagged edges. As it turned out, this wasn’t his first brush with the law. Previously, he had been indicted on charges of hosting illegal gambling activities, drawing a dubious curtain over his life’s narrative.

In an era where integrity should be a cornerstone, the tale of Nava Hongsakul serves as a riveting reminder of how appearances can be deceiving. His story—an intricate dance between loyalty and betrayal, heroism and thievery—adds another fascinating layer to the colorful tableau of Bangkok’s stories.

The unfolding of this remarkable episode will undoubtedly be etched in the annals of the city’s lore, a story retold in hushed tones over evening coffees, and a cautionary tale that’s bound to resonate for years to come. The scandal has intrigued the public, who now wait with bated breath to see what twists and turns the professional sleuths of the Metropolitan Police Bureau will uncover next.


  1. Sophia K July 10, 2024

    I can’t believe he managed to sell those photos for just 100,000 baht. They were worth so much more historically.

    • Paul J July 10, 2024

      I know, right? It’s insane to think how undervalued historical artifacts can be on the black market. No sense of heritage!

      • Anna July 10, 2024

        Well, to some people, money is all that matters. They couldn’t care less about history.

      • Sophia K July 10, 2024

        Exactly. It’s just so disheartening. How can we protect our cultural heritage if people keep exploiting it for quick cash?

  2. historybuff123 July 10, 2024

    What shocks me the most is the way he timed everything perfectly with the fire. Pure criminal genius, albeit for the wrong reasons.

    • Derek July 10, 2024

      Yeah, it’s like something straight out of a movie. Goes to show you how real life can be stranger than fiction.

    • Missy July 10, 2024

      I disagree. It was just a lucky coincidence. I doubt he planned the fire.

    • historybuff123 July 10, 2024

      Luck or not, he took full advantage of the chaos. The way he navigated through everything was extraordinary, albeit immoral.

  3. James Wang July 10, 2024

    He had a previous gambling charge too! How can someone with such a history even get a job as a driver for a high-profile person?

    • Alison P. July 10, 2024

      People often overlook the past to move forward, but sometimes it comes back to bite you.

    • Matt July 10, 2024

      Companies should run better background checks. Safety first.

    • James Wang July 10, 2024

      Absolutely. It’s a massive lapse in security. It could’ve been prevented.

  4. Ravi July 10, 2024

    Wow, it’s like you really don’t know who to trust anymore. He even got praised for being heroic!

  5. Karen K. July 10, 2024

    You would think that belongings of such historical importance would have better security measures in place.

    • Tommy July 10, 2024

      Exactly, why wasn’t there a backup system for the CCTV? Too much reliance on technology maybe.

    • Camilla July 10, 2024

      Good point. Redundancy in security is always a good idea, especially for priceless artifacts.

  6. Oliver July 10, 2024

    I’m more interested in who bought these photos. Surely they knew they were stolen?

  7. Susan T. July 10, 2024

    This whole situation is reminiscent of old ‘Robin Hood’ tales but with a modern and criminal twist.

    • Brooke July 10, 2024

      Except Robin Hood did it for the poor. Nava did it for himself. No comparison.

    • Susan T. July 10, 2024

      True, but you get what I mean. It’s almost romanticized until you see the ugly truth.

  8. SammyB July 10, 2024

    Goes to show that no hero is ever a hero without scrutiny these days.

  9. Layla July 10, 2024

    Feels like this could’ve been avoided if there were better vetting processes for employees, especially in sensitive roles.

  10. Joan Davis July 10, 2024

    He had such easy access due to his job. Major lapse in internal security protocols.

    • Marcus L July 10, 2024

      It’s always someone on the inside. Inside jobs are the hardest to prevent.

  11. Bobby July 10, 2024

    How does this guy plan on redeeming himself now? His reputation is in tatters.

  12. artlover99 July 10, 2024

    Selling priceless heritage for such a low sum is just sacrilege!

  13. Felix July 10, 2024

    Wait, doesn’t Thailand have strict penalties for this kind of theft? What’s he facing legally?

    • AsiaLawExpert July 10, 2024

      He’s likely facing severe punishment, but the legal process can be unpredictable. This is high-profile, so they might make an example of him.

  14. Maya July 10, 2024

    He must’ve been under a lot of pressure to resort to such measures. Still, it’s unacceptable.

    • Dave July 10, 2024

      I doubt pressure alone can justify such a morally corrupt action.

  15. Larry Davis July 10, 2024

    There’s always more to these stories than meets the eye. I wonder what else will come out.

  16. Ming W July 10, 2024

    The arts and cultural heritage are too vulnerable these days. Need better policies in place.

    • Ariana July 10, 2024

      Yes, it’s high time we protect these relics with more than just basic technology.

  17. Dan_The_Man July 10, 2024

    On the bright side, at least the photos are recovered. Could have been worse.

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