Mr Nares also confirmed that not only Liliya Karmanova, 20, from Novosibirsk in Siberia was charged for the illegal possession of coral, but also her friend who was sharing their Karon bungalow, Polina Likman*.
“Both women were charged for the illegal possession of coral and are on bail of probably the standard amount for this charge, B40,000,” said Mr Nares.
The two women are still waiting to be put on trial, according to Capt Channarong Prakongkue of the Karon Police.
“The case is still in the hands of the court. To my knowledge they have yet to be sentenced,” he told The Phuket News.
“Ms Liliya told police that she had bought the corals from another country,” he said.
“I won’t give any more information right now. If you want more information please come into Karon Police Station and contact the station Chief.”
Karmanova was reported to the Department Marine Coastal Resources (DMCR) by a neighbour last Wednesday (Jan 31) after they spotted her bleaching pieces of coral using pink Vixol (toilet bleach).
“The DMCR Phuket office received a tip-off from a neighbour at about midday on Wednesday, reporting that a Russian woman was using pink Vixol (toilet bleach) to bleach pieces of coral at a bungalow in Karon,” explained Mr Nares on Feb 2.
DMCR officers arrived at the bungalow to find that Karmanova was not at home.
However, they did find pieces of corals still soaking in bleach, Mr Nares added.
“We took the corals to the Karon Police as it is illegal to be in possession of any corals, and Capt Channarong filed a request for the Phuket Provincial Court to issue a warrant for her arrest.” (See story here.)
* Correction: Not "Lihtmen", as originally reported.