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Expats arrested after posing for selfies while handling protected sea creatures

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Nation Thailand

A Dutch man and a Hungarian national are in custody after picking up protected sea creatures while diving off Koh Pha Ngan in the southern province of Surat Thani. Nation Thailand reports that the Hungarian man, named as Attila Ott, is a scuba diving instructor, who owns the Pink Panther Scuba Dive Club on the island. The Dutch man has been named as Francesco Simonetti, who works as a chef at the island’s Il Barracuda restaurant.

Expats arrested after posing for selfies while handling protected sea creatures | News by Thaiger

PHOTO: Nation Thailand

The arrests came after both men posted selfies and videos on the internet that showed them handling the sea creatures, provoking outrage among social media users. It’s understood both men have now admitted the offences, which took place at the Salad Beach area of Koh Pha Ngan, according to Sophon Thongdee of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources.

“We tracked down the suspects and identified them as Attila Ott, a Hungarian national, and Francesco Simonetti, from the Netherlands. Salad Beach is a protected area, which makes their actions punishable by a maximum fine of 100,000 baht or one-year imprisonment, or both.”

The pair have also been slapped with fines for immigration offences: Simonetti for not notifying a change of address within 24 hours, and Ott’s wife for failing to inform officials within 24 hours that she had a foreigner staying at her property.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Preesy Chepuce

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    Why not give them the opportunity to rehabilitate themselves by doing a course and becoming marine rangers https://mr.dcmr.go.th and do a spot of litter picking on the beach to make amends? They may not have realized what they were doing was harmful.

    • Avatar

      Jean-Pierre

      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 12:04 am

      This is a constructive idea. I like it.

  2. Avatar

    Toby Andrews

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    They only handled them. They did not take them out of the sea or harm them.
    Yet the Thais authorities jump on them with glee with Thai Bahts in their eyes.
    Pickings are meagre, and these are felangs, good for a big payday.
    Would a Thai even been arrested – I doubt it.

    • Avatar

      John Smith

      Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 9:14 pm

      Killing a policeman driving at 177kms/h and on cocain is obviously OK!!!

    • Avatar

      byrom20@gmail.com

      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 10:35 am

      Don’t mess with Thai life when you are a foreigner. Give them the max.

  3. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I’m against unwarranted shaming.

  4. Avatar

    james

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 10:35 pm

    While at the same time motorbike dealers are allowed to sell dangerous motorbikes which kill 20,000 human beings a year in Thailand, you just have to laugh at the tree huggers and backward logic.

    Maybe the protected sea creatures who had their picture taken have died of shame as they were photographed naked for the world to see, whaaaaaaa.

  5. Avatar

    TS

    Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 7:48 pm

    OMG! They picked up a sea slug and took it’s pic possibly causing flash blindness to the poor creature. Massive fines, deportation, blacklist for them both.

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