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Officials investigating Phuket police with links to Swiss expat

PHOTO: Facebook/Urs Fehr

They’ve looked into his villa, his elephant business, his concrete steps and his visa. Now officials will investigate Phuket police officers with links to the Swiss expat dominating the news at the moment… in fact the most widely reported news story of 2024, eclipsing even Thaksin’s release on parole last month.

Swiss citizen Urs ‘David’ Fehr hit the headlines after allegedly kicking a female doctor who was sitting on the steps leading to his villa. What should have been a minor news story has taken off, thanks to video footage of the incident going viral on social media and Thais being outraged over the alleged assault on the doctor.

On Sunday, March 3, over 300 people rallied on the beach in front of the Swiss man’s Cape Yamu villa (reported as up to 500 protesters in other news services), calling for him to be kicked out of the country and pointing out that the island’s beaches are public land and open to all.

Immigration officers are now looking into revoking Mr Fehr’s visa, with Surapong Thanomjit, Region 8 Police Commander, describing the Swiss man as a threat to the safety and order of the people under Article 12 of Thailand’s Immigration Act. Immigration officials have the arbitrary power to revoke, or not renew, a visa without having to provide a specific reason. This passive action avoids the sometimes-messy and legal option of deportation.

The authorities have also turned their attention to the Swiss man’s elephant business in north Phuket. Officials inspected the Green Elephant Sanctuary Park and have confirmed all elephants are legally registered with microchips and the park has the correct business licence. However, the rumours persist on social media, with allegations Mr Fehr is using the elephants for profit as opposed to running a genuine sanctuary.

Now Thailand’s national police chief Torsak Sukwimol says he’s ordered the commander of Phuket provincial police to investigate allegations against senior police officers on the island. These include claims that officers have received payments from influential foreigners and criminal gangs.

“If a police officer has committed misconduct and accepted money, or if a foreign gang has paid him, he must bear the consequences. Police officers are not in conflict with foreigners; if foreigners commit misconduct, they must take responsibility”.

The allegations arose after Mr Fehr’s Thai wife made repeated threats that the couple has “connections to senior police officers” on the island.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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