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Outrage as tourist leaves his mark on Nai Thon rocks

Outrage as tourist leaves his mark on Nai Thon rocks

PHUKET: A tourist has been lambasted for graffiting a section of rocks at Nai Thon beach which went viral over social media yesterday (Feb 27) and alerted police to the crime.

By Khunanya Wanchanwet

Friday 28 February 2020, 04:06PM

The person believed to be the culprit, a Russian national, was identified via Facebook and Instagram posts that showcased photo evidence of identical handiwork to that which appeared at Nai Thon.

They also shared the same personalised tag name ‘dem51’ that appeared on the rock graffiti.

Chief of Sirinat National Park, Mr Natthawat Nuisriram, told The Phuket News today (Feb 28), “I was notified via a Facebook post that had gone viral which showed the graffiti painted on the rock at Nai Thon Beach.

“Also people sent photos and information to the Sirinat National Park email account directly,” he added.

“We immediately went to inspect the area and found the painted rock, which is about eight kilometers to the south of Nai Thon beach.”

I paint where I want’

Mr Natthawat explained he managed to identify the suspected individual although he was unwilling to disclose specific details at this point.

It appears, however, on further inspection of social media using the personalised tag name of ‘dem51’ that the individual in question is a Russian national street graffiti artist by the name of Dmitrii Bragin.

It also appears that the piece at Nai Thon is not the only one that was done by the suspect when he was in Phuket.

One Facebook video post from Feb 19th shows an identical image drawn on a tree with marker pen at Mai Khao beach. What appears to be the suspect’s son is witnessed with the marker pen also graffiting the tree.

His acts of vandalism drew scorn from many across social media where numerous exchanges with the suspect were witnessed.

When a user under the nickname @phuket_guide informed the suspect @dem51 on Instagram that he has been identified as the person responsible for the graffiti at Nai Thon, the reply was as follows:

“@phuket_guide In fact it’s very funny, don’t you think so yourself? These are just stones, who cares about them?”

Asked by another commentator to keep his street art graffiti in his own country and respect nature and the hospitality of any countries visited, the suspect ‘dem51’ replied:

“@oleg_morsov Mister, I paint where I want. Don’t tell me what to do”

Despite Mr Natthawat initially believing the culprit to still be in Phuket, it later transpired that he had left the island meaning it was impossible to question or charge him for his actions.

Chief Natthawat appealed to tourists not to consider replicating the act, stating it is illegal and destroys the natural habitat.

“Please do not paint, write, advertise or make any sort of signature piece on rocks like this. It is not pleasant. It is illegal. If anyone witnesses painting like this, please send information to us at:

https://www.facebook.com/sirinath.np or call 076- 328226 and 076- 328226

He concluded with a stern warning: “We are responsible for the protection and maintenance of the National Park and this kind of act of vandalism will be punishable with a fine not exceeding 500 baht.”

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Kurt | 29 February 2020 - 17:58:38

Don't  give it so much drama publicity. Keep it quiet, no pics, etc. Don't give these vandals after-action-fun. I am sure this vandal is laughing about that max 500 thb fine. If this is seen serious and not just drama making, than give such artist a 2 months prison time + 100,000 thb fine ( same as for smoking at a beach).

Sandbar | 29 February 2020 - 06:05:53

One thing I have admired about Phuket is the abscence of graffti. Where I come from "tags" as they are called are everywhere on public properties,  and if caught the fines are quite servere. I think a fine of 500Bhat is too low for such actions, and I would also get this offender to grab some paint remover and clean the grafft off himself. 

Capricornball | 28 February 2020 - 19:12:35

Sorry you couldn't nab this low-life vandal. And once again, a corny Facebook posting can result in a possible jail term up 8 years and/or a fine of up to B160,000, while vandalizing Thailand's natural resources is only 500 baht. Ridiculous, and indicative of the fact that breaking various laws and the associated consequences are WAY out of whack here.

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