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Female Russian tourist arrested for feeding fish off Phuket

PHUKET: A 53-year-old female Russian tourist has been arrested after being caught feeding fish at Plub Pla Bay on Koh Racha Yai Island yesterday.

animalscrimemarinetourismenvironmentRussian
By Eakkapop Thongtub

Monday 20 February 2017, 03:03PM


At around midday yesterday afternoon (Feb 19), while officers from the Phuket Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR) were carrying out routine checks for illegal activity around Plub Pla Bay, they came across a woman feeding bread to fish close to a coral reef.

The woman, later named a Russian national Ms Olga Smirnova, 53, was informed by a translator that her actions were illegal and that she had broken one of the island’s environmental rules.

The woman was shown a copy of posters placed across the island warning of the rules.

Ms Smirnova was taken to Chalong Police Station where she is currently being held awaiting a court appearance.

Lt Sakkarin Sangjaroen of the Chalong Police confirmed that Ms Smirnova will be taken to Phuket Provincial Court tomorrow where she will learn her fate.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

Any person found breaking these regulations they will face legal action and be punished with not more than one year in jail and fined not more than B100,000.

Officials from the Phuket DMCR placed signs in Koh Racha Yai’s three main bays on Jan 26 warning tour guides and tourists of the consequences they will face if found to have broken any rules as previously set out

Marine and environment officers in Phuket launched a series of counter-measures to prevent further damage by tourists and tour operators at Racha Island, south of Phuket. (See story here.)

On Jan 26, an officer from Chalong Police Station confirmed to The Phuket News that a Chinese tourist who was arrested for poaching parrotfish at Koh Racha Yai the previous day was fined B100,000 for his actions. (See story here.)

 

 

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LES | 25 February 2017 - 03:55:18

This lady should dig in, refuse to pay the fine, get her consul involved and have someone post this on social media and get it around the globe.
Hopefully the authorities will be ridiculed and show up for what they are.

Stupid Russian | 24 February 2017 - 16:12:54

B100,000 fine for foreigners and a slap on the wrist for Thai's.

It is very normal in Thailand for officials to target Foreigners and milk them for as much money as possible. What they do is lock them up and force them to pay if they want to get out.

She'll never see the money again and the officials will divide it up between themselves.

Christy Sweet | 21 February 2017 - 19:48:25

I thought it had been..., er, ordained pics of "suspects" were not to be shown in the media. This unfortunate woman is suffering insult to injury. If convicted, she'll be forbidden from ever visiting Thailand, USA and a host of other nations that forbid entry to convicted "criminals".

 GET A GRIP THAILAND- My neighbor's garbage patch that routinely carries  plastic i...

sateeb | 21 February 2017 - 19:09:44

This place is pathetic.  They will stop at nothing to extract every Baht out of tourists....

Nasa123 | 21 February 2017 - 06:13:43

What happened whit you and the skipper and the owner of the boat and Tourcompany if Police take you for give bread to fish in Australia?? The Skipper lose his license the owner of the boat can lose the boat and you get a very big ticket+ banning from Australia fore looooong time. Bread are NOT fish food.This it`s a big crime in Australia.

skip | 21 February 2017 - 02:53:27

and while the fate of the tourism industry hangs in the balance, a bunch of buffoons hammer another nail in the coffin that was "tourism". the chinese and russians are the "last hope" of a dead industry, together with the abolition or "zero profit chinese tourists" which saw a reduction of 70% in chinese hotel/flight bookings,a swiflty rising chinese death rate in phu...

BenPendejo | 20 February 2017 - 22:33:14

Ludicrous and shameful.  Thai officials...and Thailand in general, should be ashamed.  This lady obviously had no idea what she was doing was illegal, and the responsibility should rest 100% with the moron tour guide (who probably sold her the bread).

Whos In Charge ? | 20 February 2017 - 22:09:32

Who is in charge here. The lunatics are running the asylum ! Better send all the tourists home and let them get on with it...

Discover Thainess | 20 February 2017 - 21:40:10

Madness: the authorities clearly do not want tourists here any longer. It's ok to kill and maim on the roads every day with a slap on the wrist, but heaven forbid anyone who feeds a fish! The lady will go home and tell all her friends never to come here. 

malczx7r | 20 February 2017 - 21:04:46

She should have just hired a minivan and killed a few folk driving dangerously, she'd have got off with a warning and a few thousand baht fine!!
Stupid just got took to a whole new level of stupidity!

Pauly44 | 20 February 2017 - 17:19:35

Could it get any more absurd? year in jail for feeding bread to a fish, wtf! Yet the most serious of crimes are punished with a thousand baht fine, no rationale, no idea, do officials know or even care how stupid they appear?? At least get the penalties somewhat proportionate to the crime, jeez!

Rorii | 20 February 2017 - 17:05:23

Are any warning signs in Russian, if not then surely a "warning" would have been more appropriate. Also, just who gave the lady the bread, I suspect she didn't bring it along herself, also, one assumes there was a tour guide, with her group, if so, the guide should be held responsible, many things wrong here.

Kurt | 20 February 2017 - 16:55:45

It looks like Phuket Authorities have started a kind of 'tourist control'.
( something like birth control, but different)

It looks like a 'lesser tourist' plan.

Kurt | 20 February 2017 - 16:44:26

Asterix, right!  The infamous double standards in Thailand.
But of course Government Agencies are able to arrest the named people.
But oh oh, who is going to arrest the people who 'feed' them?

Asterix | 20 February 2017 - 15:16:38

Government Agencies are able to arrest a tourist but are unable to arrest resort and restaurant owners for discharging wastewater in the klongs and public beaches.

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