Phuket Provincial Police Chief Maj Gen Wisarn Phanmanee said that American Chad Elwartowski, 46, and Supranee Thepdet’s last known location was the southern border island of Tarutao. They were believed to be still within Thai territory, although they had shut down their mobile phones.
Police were preparing charges against them and had already questioned people involved in building and positioning their floating, octagonal six-metre-wide cabin in the sea southeast of Phuket.
Authorities announced earlier they were preparing applications for arrest warrants for the couple. Mr Elwartoski’s visa has been cancelled.
“Police have contacted all relevant agencies to determine what further possible legal action can be taken against them, in addition to charges under Section 119... All laws relating to this matter will be enforced,” Maj Gen Wisarn said.
Section 119 of the Criminal Code relates to national sovereignty.
V/Adm Sitthiporn Matkasem, Commander of the Third Naval Area, said the couple’s action had affected national sovereignty. They had put a floating house in place and invited others to join them at their location, which they claimed to be autonomous.
“It affects security and challenges the state power of Thailand and it is intolerable,” he said.
The navy dismantled the floating structure on Monday and its components were taken to Phuket Deep Sea Port, arriving late that night, V/Adm Sitthiporn said.
Phuket Governor Phakaphong Thavipatana said he suspended the business licence of the builder of the floating house, who was also fined, and the legality of the business was being thoroughly examined. The dockyard was in Moo 7 Mai Khao in Thalang, he said. (See previous story here.)
“It is on rented land… Officials will check if any nominee runs it. Any government officials who were involved will be decisively disciplined,” the Governor said.
Read original story here.