A safety hint for visitors to Phuket, with love from Bangkok

PHUKET: The coach of the Afghan judo squad attending the Asian Martial Arts Games in Bangkok was robbed of hundreds of thousands of baht after falling for a ladyboy he met in the notorious Nana Plaza adult entertainment complex.

‘Ladyboy’ is the widely-used English word for the Thai katoey, generally understood to mean a male-to-female transgender person.

Assaladee Sakala, 43, told police he and his team checked into the Grand Ayudhaya Hotel in Bangkok’s Ratchada area and went looking for some female company.

He said he made some new ‘female’ friends and took one of them back to his hotel room.

He poured two beers and left the room briefly to talk to a teammate.

When he returned, Mr Sakala and his ‘girlfriend’ drank the beer at which point he started to feel sleepy.

The next thing he knew, it was 2pm the following day and his companion had vanished, along with all his valuables.

Mr Sakala told police the ‘woman’ had stolen $US5,000 and 1,500 euros in cash, a gold ring, a gold wrist watch, a digital camera, and a digital voice recorder worth a total of more than 300,000 baht.

Metropolitan Police Commander Lt Gen Saroj Phromcharoen said the thief had been identified as 21-year-old ladyboy Phongphichit Prasertsuk.

Mr Sakala said he had no idea his ‘lady friend’ was actually a man.

Police believe Mr Phong-phichit slipped tranquillizers into Mr Sakala’s beer before stealing his valuables.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Mr Phongphichit.

Mr Sakala was the second high-profile foreign victim to be drugged and robbed by a ladyboy in Thailand in less than a month.

Last month, a Lieutenant Commander from the Australian navy reportedly lost a laptop belonging to the Department of Defense after being drugged and robbed by a ladyboy he met in Bangkok.

It is not known what steps, if any, the Australian government has taken to hedge against any security breach that may have arisen ‘Down Under’ by their Navy’s explorations in Thailand.

Meanwhile, civilian visitors to the Land of Smiles should know that the largest and most visible populations of ladyboys outside of Bangkok are to be found in Chiangmai, Pattaya and Phuket.

— Khao Sod & Gazette Reporters

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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