3 Russians and Thai arrested for illegally running Phuket restaurant

Photo via Facebook/ Phuket Hotnews

Police arrested three Russian men and one Thai nominee for illegally operating a restaurant in the Thalang district of Phuket. More than 80 million baht was found circulating in their bank accounts.

Provincial Police Region 8 and Phuket Provincial Police officers told Phuket Hotnews that they received a tip-off about suspicious foreigners who frequently gathered at a restaurant called Octopus. They conducted further investigation into the matter and suspected the foreigners of employing a Thai national as a nominee to run the restaurant.

According to police reports, via Phuket Hotnews, the restaurant operated under a company called VVG Alliance. This company was owned by a Thai woman named Punyanut. She held 20,400 shares or about 51%.

Two other Russian shareholders were identified: Vladislav, who owned 9,800 shares (24.5%), and Valery, who also owned 9,800 shares (24.5%). Pavel, another Russian man, was employed as a finance manager.

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Despite Punyanut’s nominal ownership, investigations revealed that the majority of the restaurant’s revenue flowed into Vladislav’s bank account, amounting to over 80 million baht collectively.

Furthermore, officers discovered that Punyanut lacked any authority over the management of both the restaurant and VVG Alliance company, whereas Pavel held significant control. Allegedly, Pavel operated the business under Vladislav’s directives.

With concrete evidence in hand, officers conducted a raid on the restaurant today, April 4, successfully apprehending all suspects involved.

The suspects violated multiple sections on the Act on Business Operation of Foreigners in Thailand which each violation could lead to imprisonment of up to three years, a fine from 100,000 to one million baht, or both.

On the same day, officers raided eight company offices in the province, suspecting their involvement in criminal activities of foreigners in the province.

During the operation, two Thai women were arrested for operating fake companies to assist foreigners in acquiring visas, work permits, and business permits. While a Russian woman connected to the operation was identified, she was not present during the raid.

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at petch@thethaiger.com.

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