New Zealanders in hot water after assaulting Thai officer in Phuket

Photo via Phuket Hotnews

Two New Zealanders, who physically assaulted a Thai police officer on Chao Fah East Road in Phuket on Saturday were charged with five offences and face a lifetime ban from entering Thailand.

The incident occurred when a traffic officer from the Chalong Police Station, Somsak Noo-iad, asked two foreign men, later identified as 36 year old Hamish Day and 38 year old Oscar Day, to stop at a checkpoint after the two Kiwis were riding motorcycles at high speed.

The foreigners fled the checkpoint, prompting Somsak to chase after them. He managed to stop them outside a noodle shop on Chao Fah East Road. The foreign men attempted to bribe Somsak but the officer refused and recorded their actions with his mobile phone.

Unexpectedly, Oscar grabbed Somsak’s phone and physically attacked the officer until he fell to the ground. A scuffle ensued between Oscar and Somsak over the officer’s gun, which resulted in a shot being fired. Fortunately, the gunshot did not hit anyone in the area.

Oscar managed to get the gun and handed it to Harmish. A video recorded by a witness showed Oscar restraining Somsak while Hamish held the gun. The witness kept asking the two New Zealanders to stop their actions but to no avail.

Bail denied, charges issued

Other police officers later arrived at the scene and suppressed the situation. Somsak was rushed to the hospital with injuries to his finger and leg. He suffered only minor injuries and has recovered.

A Facebook page reported that Somsak forgave the two New Zealanders after getting an apology and a gift basket from them. This sparked a controversy on Thai social media. Netizens demanded legal action against them and urged police to stop spoiling foreign tourists.

The superintendent of the Chalong Police Station, Ekkarat Plaiduang, dismissed the information reported by the Facebook page. Ekkarat insisted that the two New Zealanders were in police custody and their bail requests were denied.

Ekkarat insisted that Somsak did not accept any gift basket and police pressed five charges against them including:

  • Section 138 of the Criminal Law: attacking or obstructing an officer who is on duty. The penalty is imprisonment of up to one year, a fine of up to 20,000 baht, or both.
  • Section 167 of the Criminal Law: giving or promising to give any assets or benefits to government officials. The penalty is imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine of up to 140,000 baht.
  • Section 295 of the Criminal Law: physically assaulting another person. The penalty is imprisonment of up to two years, a fine of up to 40,000 baht, or both.
  • Section 335 of the Criminal Law: committing theft in a dwelling place. The penalty is imprisonment from one to five years and a fine from 20,000 to 100,000 baht.
  • Section 64 of the Car Act: driving without a licence. The penalty is imprisonment of up to one month, a fine of up to 1,000 baht, or both.

A Thai news agency reported that the Phuket Governor would summon Somsak to provide detailed information to the Office of Immigration for consideration of revoking the visas of the two New Zealanders.

Additionally, the Deputy Commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn, expressed his intention to include the foreigners on the entry blacklist.

Crime NewsPhuket NewsThailand News

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

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