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German dive industry figure arrested in Phuket on Austrian warrant

German dive industry figure arrested in Phuket on Austrian warrant

PHUKET: German resident and dive industry figure Detlef Gerhard Hewer was arrested this afternoon on a request from the Austrian Embassy in Bangkok.


By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Tuesday 20 May 2014, 09:54PM


Detlef

Detlef

Details are sketchy. It is understood that the charge is one of fraud or embezzlement, but the victim is not mentioned in the police arrest documents.

Hewer was the founder of Eden Divers, at one time one of the most aggressive and fastest growing dive operations in the region. Initially it operated out of offices in Patong but later moved to Khao Lak, The company’s website still lists “Franky”, as he was known in the community, as director.

Since 2010 Hewer has been on a list of foreigners wanted for various offences, but police said they had two addresses for him – one in Patong and one in Khao Lak – and they did not know at which one he lived.

Today, however, they staked out the address in Nanai Rd, Patong, and arrested him when he arrived home.

After questioning, Hewer was due to put on a plane to Bangkok tonight in preparation for despatch to Austria.

UPDATE:

Today (May 21) a staff member of the Austrian Embassy told The Phuket News on condition of anonymity that Hewer is accused of taking money from 32 clients for delivery of kitchen equipment, furniture and electronics in Europe. It is alleged he failed to deliver the goods, but kept the money.

Fastship Phuket

The total sum involved was more than 175,000 Euros – about B7.7 million.

Hewer is expected to spend at least a month in Bangkok going through the procedure for his extradition to Austria.

A Detlef Gerhard Hewer is widely listed on the World Wide Web as director of the now defunct KUM Logistik Co, which went out of business in 2008, a year before Hewer appeared in Phuket.

It is not known whether the two are the same man or not.

 

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub 

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