- Title: THAILAND: POLICE RETURN STOLEN JEWELLERY TO SAUDI ARABIA
- Date: 9th June 1995
- Summary: BANGKOK, THAILAND (JUNE 9, 1995)(RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. SV OFFICERS ENTER BARRED ROOM IN THE POLICE OPERATIONS CENTRE 0.09 2. SV SAFE 0.13 3. SCU CAMERAMEN AND PHOTOGRAPHERS WATCH THROUGH THE BARS 0.15 4. CU SAFE DIAL IS OPENED 0.21 5. SCU JEWELLERY IS TAKEN OUT 0.32 6. SV SAUDI OFFICIALS AND THAI POLICE CARRY JEWELLERY AWAY 0.39 7. SV SAUDI OFFICIALS AT HANDING OVER 0.48 8. SV JEWELLERY AND VALUABLES TAKEN OUT TO BE EXAMINED 0.54 9. SCU SAUDI OFFICIALS EXAMINE JEWELLERY AND VALUABLES 1.08 10. SV SAUDI ARABIAN CHARGE D'AFFAIRES, MOHAMMED SAID KHOJA, TALKING TO MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES 1.20 11. SV OFFICIAL SIGNS FOR THE JEWELLERY 1.30 12. SCU MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES 1.32 13. SV STOLEN JEWELLERY HANDED OVER IN CASE 1.37 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Embargoed: 24th June 1995 13:00
- Location: BANGKOK, THAILAND
- Country: Thailand
- Reuters ID: LVA4JGTOLRKFDXTRLGGMX55JO8YB
- Story Text: Thai police on Friday (June 9) returned stolen jewellery to Saudi Arabia, part of a 20 million United States (U.S.) dollar haul taken from a Saudi palace by a Thai gardener which led to a serious diplomatic rift between the countries.
The six-year-old jewellery scandal has embroiled some of Thailand's most senior police officers and led to murder, as well as a freeze on Thai workers going to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi embassy officials watched on Friday as the pieces were checked off a list and handed over to them at Bangkok police headquarters.
Saudi Arabian Charge d'Affaires Mohammed Said Khoja, who has at times threatened to cut off relations with Thailand and has round-the-clock armed protection, said jewellery worth about 600,000 U.S.-dollars would be flown home on Saturday.
In all, about two thirds of the pieces stolen and smuggled back to Thailand in 1989 have now been returned, he said.
The Thai gardener fled back to Thailand with the jewellery where he was soon tracked down and arrested, but much of it went missing while in the care of Thai police, Saudi Arabia says.
The items returned on Friday were recovered by a police taskforce set up last October, which encouraged anyone who had pieces to return them anonymously.
Angered by lack of progress in solving the theft and the murders, Saudi Arabia stopped issuing new visas to Thai workers in 1990. More than 200,000 Thais were then working in the kingdom.
Thai officials estimate only 20,000 Thais are working there now.
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