The three inmates who made a daring escape from the Pattaya Provincial Court cells on Monday were back in custody after 48 hours on Wednesday after police tracked them down in the western Thai province of Sa Kaeo on the border with Cambodia. It is understood that the intense heat had played a factor in their capture as they made their way on foot through farmland in their bid to escape Thai authorities and justice.

The three fugitives who spectacularly escaped from custody at the Pattaya Provincial Court holding cells on Monday in chains have been captured in the western province of Sa Kaeo as they attempted to reach the Thai Cambodian border. As Thai police closed in on the American drug dealer 39-year-old Bart Allen Helmus, he turned his gun on his 31-year-old wife who was pregnant and then turned the gun on himself sustaining serious injuries.

Police recover American Bart Allen Helmus from a sugar plantation in Sa Kaeo on Wednesday after they cornered the couple. The American turned his gun on his Thai wife, Ms Sirinapha Wisetrit who was wounded and can be seen in an emotional state.

The three fugitives involved in shocking prison escape on Monday from the Pattaya Provincial Court have been captured.

Escape left a police officer seriously injured

The three escapees who seriously injured a court police officer on Monday afternoon were the subject of an intense manhunt mounted by security forces who yesterday recovered the Isuzu pickup they had used in the escape and arrested two suspects believed to have assisted them. The suspects were identified by police as another couple named as Max and On.

Police reported that a security guard on Monday saw a man who appeared to be in his thirties park the Isuzu and place a steel saw inside it. The man was later collected by a motorbike driven by a Thai woman.

Found in the centre of Sa Kaeo province

The three dangerous inmates were found in western Sa Kaeo province in the districts of Watthana Nakhon and Khao Chakan. The border is adjacent to Cambodia where the three escaped prison inmates are believed to have been heading.

Thai drug dealer negotiated his surrender to police through relatives who contacted the police

It is understood that the breakthrough for police came when Thai drug dealer, 41-year-old Noi Thon Nintet, made contact with authorities through his family to negotiate his surrender. 

This was revealed by an assistant to the Thai national police chief, Lieutenant General Satawat Hirunburana who was speaking in a local radio service interview about the capture of the escapees.

Mr Noi later emerged from a sugar cane plantation between the districts of Watthana Nakhon and Khao Chakhan in the western Thai province.

Area 1 km wide surrounded by police 

This led police to surround an area about 1 km wide from where the Thai man and surrendered to flush out the two remaining fugitives, 39-year-old Bart Allen Helmus and his 31-year-old Thai wife Sirinapha Wisetrit. 

It is reported that the heat had become unbearable for the trio as they struggled to make their way forward and that Mr Helmus had become highly excited.

American man’s Thai wife 3 months pregnant

His Thai wife, Sirinipha Wisetrit, is also reported to have been 3 months pregnant. It was not long before police found the couple but then matters took another sensational turn.

Shot the Thai woman and turned the gun on himself

Police Lieutenant General Satawat revealed that the couple were quickly captured as the net closed on them but not before Mr Helmus had used his weapon to first shoot at his wife before he then turned it on himself. The senior police officer stressed that security forces had not discharged their weapons in the incident

Wife wounded but husband is in a serious condition

It is reported that Ms Sirinipha was not seriously wounded after being shot by her husband. However, the American sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Khaochakhan Hospital where he is reported to be in critical condition.

Authorities are said to be anxious to question the jailbreakers in Sa Kaeo before they are returned to Pattaya.

Authorities want to know if the trio were helped

All three were facing drug trafficking charges for dealing with large quantities of illicit drugs and faced the possibility of the death penalty. 

The appalling and vicious attack on the Thai police officer in the court holding cells on Monday afternoon will also leave them facing charges of attempted murder even though it was the American man who repeatedly stabbed the police officer leaving him with critical injuries. This is also a death penalty offence.

The events since they arrived at the Pattaya Court holding cells on Monday with eleven other inmates have compounded matters legally for the three escapees and will have consequences before the Thai courts. 

Bought at an extremely high cost

Police will be intent on trying to find out what assistance was given to the gang that allowed the audacious escape of the three inmates in chains from custody leading to an altogether truncated and frustrating period of freedom for them bought at what now appears to be an extremely high cost.

Further reading:

American drug gangster escapes from custody in Pattaya with Thai wife in armed prison break

American man and Thai wife arrested for selling ‘ice’ in Pattaya after police swooped on Bang Lamung condo

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