Connect with us


Expats arrested after posing for selfies while handling protected sea creatures



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


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.



  1. 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 and do a spot of litter picking on the beach to make amends? They may not have realized what they were doing was harmful.

    • Jean-Pierre

      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 12:04 am

      This is a constructive idea. I like it.

  2. 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.

    • John Smith

      Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 9:14 pm

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


      Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 10:35 am

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

  3. Perceville Smithers

    Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I’m against unwarranted shaming.

  4. 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. 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.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Bangkok8 mins ago

Bangkok BTS Skytrain fares to increase next year

Thailand13 mins ago

Police put brakes on car rental thief in Bangkok

World42 mins ago

New drug marks major milestone in slowing Alzhemier’s

Sponsored37 mins ago

Krungthong Plaza offers endless choices of well-selected plus-size fashion products

World Cup53 mins ago

400 to 500 migrant workers in Qatar died due to World Cup, not 6,500

Visa2 hours ago

Thailand advises Indians to obtain visa prior to travelling to avoid long queues

Thailand2 hours ago

Driver furious with Bangkok shopping mall after foreigner accidently causes damage to her car

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Politics2 hours ago

Iran promises Thailand it won’t attack Israeli tourists

Crime3 hours ago

Korean woman arrested for 5 million baht theft, 6-year overstay

Tourism3 hours ago

Japan is the No.1 tourist destination among Thais

Cambodia3 hours ago

10,000 Angkor Wat residents facing mass eviction

Thailand4 hours ago

Parents seek justice after 4 year old child dies after mysterious fall at school

Bangkok4 hours ago

Popcorn promotion: people capitalise on all you can eat

Crime4 hours ago

Violent criminals in Thailand to be tagged for 10 years after release to protect women

Chiang Mai5 hours ago

Chiang Mai farmers ordered not to move pigs to prevent African Swine Fever spread

Thailand6 hours ago

Truck overturns carrying 2,560 crates of beer in central Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11