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Phuket police charge Korean caught feeding fish, investigate illegal guide allegations

PHUKET: Police have today confirmed that they have charged the Korean man who was caught feeding fish at Koh Racha last Saturday (July 29) on the count of feeding fish.

crimemarineenvironmenttourismShela Riva

Friday 4 August 2017, 05:31PM

Illegal fish feeder and suspected illegal tour guide Kwanghyun Nam, 45, (2nd from left).

Illegal fish feeder and suspected illegal tour guide Kwanghyun Nam, 45, (2nd from left).

They have also confirmed that they investigating the allegation that he was working illegally as a tour guide.

Capt Somkiet Sarasin of the Chalong Police confirmed the charge to a The Phuket News reporter this afternoon (Aug 4).

Kwanghyun Nam, 45, was caught on film by tour guide and conservationist Mr Khanchit Klingklip, or Seaman Freeman, 47, whilst diving with two other Korean women who had many fish surrounding them.

As Mr Khanchit approached, it became apparent that the suspected illegal tour guide was feeding the fish with food stashed in the pockets of his diving suit.

Mr Khanchit continued filming from a boat as he forcefully removed them from the water, where he inspected Mr Nam’s pockets and found bread crumbs (see story here).

“We have charged Kwanghyun with feeding the fish. But we have not charged him for being an illegal tour guide,” said Capt Somkiet.

“We still need to obtain more witnesses for the investigation. But, he has identification saying that he works at a language teaching school here,” he said.

“Right now, he is out on a bail of B100,000,” he added.

“We are not sure how the two women were affiliated with him [Mr Nam].”

Mr Khanchit told The Phuket News, “It is a recurring problem. I have had problems with this group of Korean guides before about feeding fish, and I once caught them diving down and sitting on and touching the coral. That time, it didn’t make the news because I only complained to the company I was working for.

“Then three or four months ago, I caught them standing on the coral. It was the same group. That incident did make the news,” he added.

“But then it went quiet, so I thought everything was going to be OK. But now, it has happened again and made the news again,” said Mr Khanchit.

“It is coming to the point where it is having an effect on my job, and my safety has been affected. This time, the case must be completed to the level of the court,” he said.

“Police said it will take about two more months to send the case to court. But I don’t see why, the evidence is already clear.”

Mr Khanchit also noted, “The tourist police did not report him for possibly being an illegal tour guide. I can’t report it, as I was only a witness.”  



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