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Phuket court fines Russian tourist B1k for feeding fish, woman faces immigration next

PHUKET: Olga Smirnova, the 53-year-old Russian woman who spent two nights in police lockup after she was caught feeding bread to fish Racha Yai Island, was today (Mar 6) fined B1,000 by the Phuket Provincial Court for her transgression.

Russian, marine, environment, crime, police, tourism,

Yutthawat Lekmak

Monday 6 March 2017, 06:32PM

Chalong Police have yet to present the Russian tourist Olga smirnova to Phuket Immrigation. Photo: The Phuket News/ file
Chalong Police have yet to present the Russian tourist Olga smirnova to Phuket Immrigation. Photo: The Phuket News/ file

The paltry fine comes after Ms Smirnova was held two days in detention at Chalong Police Station as she could not raise the B100,000 set by police to be released on bail, even though police held her passport as precaution against “flight risk”.

Ms Smirnova was finally released on Feb 21 after a “friend” posted the B100,000, but paid to Phuket Provincial Court. (See story here.)

“She was presented in court this morning and fined B1,000,” Chalong Police Chief Col Krittapas Det-intarasorn confirmed to The Phuket News today.

“We will send her to Immigration next because now the court and the police have done our duty already. Immigration will take care of this case from now on,” he added.

However, Col Krittapas could not confirm when Ms Smirnova will be present to Phuket Immigration for further processing, or whether or not the bail had been returned to the friend.

An officer at the main Phuket Immigration office in Phuket Town, who declined to be named, said he was unaware of Ms Smirnova’s predicament.

“I have to wait for Chalong Police to contact me. It is standard procedure for any foreigners found guilty of any crime to be brought to Phuket Immigration,” the officer told The Phuket News this afternoon.

“Immigration officers consider the factors in each case. If it is not serious a issue, Immigration will release the foreigner. For feeding fish, I have no idea,” he said.

Vladimir Sosnov, head of consular section of the Russian Embassy in Thailand, noted that the “punishment was minimal”.

“We consider the court’s decision on this case satisfactory. Right now we are working on sending the tourist home, as she missed her flight because of the trial,” he said.


Additional reporting by Tanyaluk Sakoot and Anton Makhrov.



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Falang22 | 10 March 2017 - 22:08:56

ok, who gave her a ride to the place, and did she bring her own fish food? I doubt, this is a case just like tourists throwing a cigarette butt on Bangkok streets, the police will first tell you that you can pay 10.000 THB right away or do it the hard way, which can mean prison for a few days. Amazing corrupt Thailand. Not to forget the tourist that were blaimed for buying drugs recently

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Rorii | 10 March 2017 - 16:34:35

Swerv, more swervness, I think, something you should try, what Kurt is saying is that more fish die from polluted waters than by someone feeding bread to the fish, without actually touching said fish.

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swerv | 10 March 2017 - 06:53:51

Kurt: Were you drunk when you wrote this?
"That kills more fishes than a non hand touch contact bread fish feeding". The mind boggles.

Also: "And the helmless rider?  Yes, indeed, a fine and the next minute he drive past, helmless." Is that supposed to be helmetless or are you talking about a ladies skirt not having a helm? Or maybe a boat. Either way i don't see the relevance to this article, off topic again!!!

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Kurt | 09 March 2017 - 17:14:37

I did answer sufficiently the question or I was thinking someone cares about this case outside Phuket. My earlier answer should have taken away any doubt.

I just leave it with just that earlier given answer.
I am sure other readers not like to become bored with dragging on this subject. 

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Kurt | 09 March 2017 - 13:37:38

To prevent loss of species and corals around Phuket island would be very much less if not so much unpurified dirt and waste water was released.
That kills more fishes than a non hand touch contact bread fish feeding.

And the helmless rider?  Yes, indeed, a fine and the next minute he drive past, helmless.
Quite a few motor bike riders died this week helmless. No hand bacteria involved.
Just no traffic law enforcement. Pay fine, and drive on.

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Kurt | 09 March 2017 - 11:44:42

The story was in Russian TASS, in Daily Mail, on other foreign TV stations. 'Even' in Bangkok press.
It got attention outside Phuket, in Thailand and worldwide.
And yes, there were people outside Phuket who cared about this case, of course.
Not only the Russian embassy, but all foreign delegations took note and reported it.

Now the world still follows the mr Keating jet ski accident affair on Phuket island.
All the 'tourist cases' got priority over the Karon Mayor Thawee case who surrendered 3 years ago after being charged for different things.
Is he still functioning as Mayor in Karon, were mr Keating was more than 7 hours interrogated at local Karon village  police station about a big wave jet ski accident?

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Jor12 | 08 March 2017 - 14:41:45

Kurt...again you demonstrate your complete ignorance. Fish species are highly varied and have evolved and adapted over millions of years to some managing to live on the land but changed their minds and have gone back. You have sucker fish that eat algae, that be the fish that love the algae on your feet, some prefer to take the whole leg or your whole body. These fish have built in "disinfectants" or stronger antibodies to fight infections. 

So the answer your question ... is that the authorities want to protect the environment and the delicate species living there and if you or anyone else doesn't like it, then it's too bad. You cant equate the attempts to prevent the loss of a species or corals to a helmetless rider, because one will be gone, while another will drive past in the next minute.  

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Pauly44 | 08 March 2017 - 14:38:27

Jor 12, I'm positive no one would complain about authorities enforcing environmental protection laws but they must do it with rationale & common sense, something you & they are lacking going by your biased comments, not go after an individual for such an arbitrary act when there are so much more serious offenses being committed by "locals" on a daily basis, it just comes across as a desperate money grab and I'm also positive the fish wasn't harmed by the tragic event! Get real.

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Rorii | 08 March 2017 - 14:13:51

Swerv, more Swrvness, there is no mention of any copies of posters, vest you go reread the above "content".

Jor12, I did che k previous articles, perhaps I missed one, please provide the link.

I also comment, if there are signs, where they anywhere near where the tourist where, but hey, why nothing done about the Thai guide, who allowed the feeding, and just who gave the tourist the bread, I also am concerned about who took the photo, of this heinous  act.

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Kurt | 08 March 2017 - 11:37:13

Was told by a official that they are shocked by the world wide commotion about how Phuket officials handled the Russian woman fish bread feeding case.
Bread sold to her by a thai tourguide ( tour guide circumpolar behind the horizon, never hear about him anymore)
Lock up in police cel 2 nights like a criminal.
A bail of 100,000 thb!!
And at the end the case did shrink as a leaking balloon to just a fine of 1000 thb.
The fine equivalent of 2 motorbike riders without helmet.

Question remains, why all this anti tourist way of handling?
Why was the lady not just given a fine like a bike rider without a helmet?
A court case was a bit over done in this matter.

Well, Phuket got her anti tourist attention, worldwide.

Now we wait for a real court case to happen regarding Karon Mayor Thawee, surrendered in 2014,  almost 3 years ago, charged with variety of corruption, and taxi mafia charges.
Very different from a tourist who did fish bread feeding 1 time.

Is this Mayor today still in function?

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