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Over 400 criminal cases brought against foreigners in Phuket

PHOTO: The Phuket Express

The governor of Phuket says at least 400 criminal cases have been filed against lawbreaking foreigners on the island. Sophon Suwannarat says the cases have been brought by a dedicated task force checking foreign nationals for “bad behaviour”.

The task force was set up around a month ago, after a number of high-profile cases involving foreigners.

The most well known of those is that of Urs Fehr, a Swiss man accused of kicking a female doctor as she sat on steps leading to his rented Cape Yamu villa. Fehr, who has a Thai wife, has already had his visa revoked and his case is expected to go to trial later this month.

According to Sophon, nearly 100 foreign nationals have now had their visas revoked, which the governor says was done to safeguard the public.

And still the badly behaving foreigners keep coming…

Earlier this week, a newly-arrived Austrian was arrested for allegedly assaulting a taxi driver who asked him to refrain from smoking in the vehicle.

That altercation led to a collision with another car on Thepkasattri Road, after the Austrian, 59 year old Gernot Leoben, put the taxi driver in a headlock.

The driver, named as Wutthiporn Chaimongkol, managed to escape the vehicle, and was helped by Thanongsak Sonpetch, who was driving the other car, and other members of the public.

Leoben was arrested and taken to Thalang Police Station to be charged with assault.

In related news, the US ambassador, Robert Godec, met with Sophon yesterday to discuss tourist safety. During the talks, the issue of lawbreaking foreigners was raised, with both men discussing efforts to ensure foreign visitors heed Thai laws and local traditions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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