Russian national Matvei Shuvalov, 41, was arrested on Wednesday at an undisclosed location in Phuket and will soon be deported back to Russia to face prosecution, according to reports issued by Russian news agency TASS this morning (Mar 31).
The arrest of Shuvalov has been confirmed by the Russian Embassy in Bangkok.
“The internationally wanted man will soon be deported to his home country for prosecution”, said Vladimir Sosnov, head of consular section of the Russian Embassy in Bangkok.
Mr Sosnov did not disclose any further details of how law enforcers managed to locate the fugitive who has been wanted since 2013.
In late 2014 Russian-language newspaper Vladivostok published a detailed investigative report on Shuvalov’s activities supported with an “Attention, Wanted Person” warning issued by Vladivostok city police.
The newspaper talked to several people who claimed that Shuvalov and his company Matvey Phuket Co.Ltd. cheated them of USD322,000 (B11.43 million) via fraudulent property deals in Phuket.
Vladivostok also linked Shuvalov to the kidnapping of Russian national Yana Strizheus and the kidnapping and murder of her boyfriend Aleksei Slabinskiy in 2014.
The newspaper claimed the latter rented a house from Shuvalov in Phuket, but didn’t provided any further details in his suspected role in the kidnapping and murder.
News of Mr Shuvalov’s arrest follows national Immigration Chief Lt Gen Nattathorn Prosunthorn, visiting Phuket in person yesterday (Mar 30) to head a meeting ordering Phuket Immigration officers to crack down on transnational crime.
Also present at the meeting, at the Royal Phuket City Hotel, were national Immigration Deputy Chief Maj Gen Apirat Niyomkan and Immigration Bureau Region 6 Commander Maj Gen Jetsada Yaisun, together with police officers as well as consuls and embassy representatives from 22 countries.
The focus of the talks was to exchange information and seek cooperation in the care of foreign tourists and businessmen in accordance with the security policy of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha
“The security policy is focused on the prevention and suppression of transnational crime and the arrest and deportation of foreign criminals who seek refuge in Thailand,” explained a PR Dept report from the meeting.
Also discussed at the meeting were efforts to ramp up security for tourists during the upcoming Songkran Thai New Year holidays (April 13-17).
“During the meeting, it was advised and agreed that from the arrival of tourists at the airport there should be extra care taken to ensure their protection and safety,” an official from the Immigration Bureau told The Phuket News today (Mar 31).
“We discussed more strategies to look after our tourists in case of accidents, and also in simply monitoring that they are well. It was agreed to increase both the number of officers on duty during Songkran and to increase frequency of inspections, maximising attention to safety.”
“But, it is usual of Immigration and police to increase protection and alertness during this time,” she added.