Italian men, both 70, still behind bars pending trial for fishing in national park

PHUKET: Two Italian men, both 70 years old, have spent the past three weeks in detention cells at Phang Nga Provincial Court while still waiting for formal charges to be brought against them for fishing in a national park.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Wednesday 8 May 2019, 12:29PM

The speedboat was found on the east side of Huyong Island with one person fishing and a haul of 46.5kg already landed on board. Photo: DNP

The speedboat was found on the east side of Huyong Island with one person fishing and a haul of 46.5kg already landed on board. Photo: DNP

Italian nationals Claudio Bonfatti and Mario Vincenzo Biccai were arrested by park officers on Apr 17 when they were caught fishing on a boat off Huyong Island, located within at the Similans National Park.

Also arrested were boat captain Sansern Klasuek and Phuket tour and fishing guide Prasert Kuansamrong, both 35, along with boat mechanic Wichart Damyot, 52, and Myanmar national crewman Ten Si Tu, 27.

Already landed on board were 115 fish, including needlefish, barracuda, northern bluefin tuna and shovelhead catfishes, among others. Officers noted the haul weighed 46.5kg and was estimated to be worth B9,300.

The park officers seized the boat, Nicola, and all objects on board, including 25 fishing rods, four fishing rods without reels and two ice boxes – altogether deemed to be worth B2,107,400 – as evidence pending charges for fishing in the national park.

All six men were taken to Kuraburi police Station to be charged. (See story here.)

However, Lt Col Korkiet Boonrod of the Kuraburi Police confirmed to The Phuket News yesterday (May 7) that all six men still remain in remand at the court and have still yet to have the charges brought against them.

QSI International School Phuket

“They are being held at my request pending the conclusion of the investigation. I have asked for them to be denied posting bail while the investigation continues. Now they are being held in the cells at Phang Nga Provincial Court,” Col Korkiet said.

“This investigation is not finished. The chief of the Mu Ko Similan National Park has accused them of fishing in the national park.

“So far, according to our investigation, they were not there on a tour. They are just friends who decided to go fishing together,” Col Korkiet said.

“For this case other witnesses need to be questioned before the investigation is closed and sent to Phang Nga Provincial Court,” he added.

Col Korkiet declined to reveal any more details about the two Italian men and the state of care they were receiving while being detained behind bars.

However, he did clarify that Mr Prasert will not be facing charges related him working as Phuket tour guide as he believes that Mr Prasert was not working as a tour guide when he was arrested.



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megamind | 10 May 2019 - 19:31:40

Bullshit: none is in the jail... penny -a-liner journalist

MartinK | 09 May 2019 - 00:30:35

Totally understand why they are under lock and key.  It's not like they poured gasoline on their wife and lit her on fire. For that bail, fishing? Reprehensible.

Fascinated | 08 May 2019 - 16:04:24

Taxi drivers kill people and are still working having not been charged yet but catch some fish and stay in jail. Someone really needs to prioritse things.

Kurt | 08 May 2019 - 13:10:08

Tour guide was not working as tour guide ( 'believed' by RTP). Will not be charged for that. So, he was on board and 'just' fishing, same as 2 Italian men. Now wait and see how the Court is ruling this thai-Italian case.  But why these people have to remain all this time locked up in detention cells? Do they get financial compensated when the Court rules: 2 weeks detention only?

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