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Police urge Phuket tourists to ‘play safe’ while on holiday

Police urge Phuket tourists to ‘play safe’ while on holiday

PHUKET: Region 8 Police Commander Lt Gen Amphon Buarabporn has called for tourists to exercise safety following the death of a Russian woman who fell eight stories from a condo in Patong last week.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 9 June 2022, 05:50PM

Lt Gen Amphon at the press briefing yesterday (June 8). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Lt Gen Amphon at the press briefing yesterday (June 8). Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Lt Gen Amphon’s plea for safety followed his announcement yesterday that three tourists have now been charged with recklessness causing death over the incident, which saw Russian national Evgeniia Smirnova, 35, plunge to her death last Tuesday (May 31).

The three charged are US citizen Jamaal Antwaun Smith, 38, Jordanian national Ahmad Radi Mustafa Alatoom, 28, and Russian national Natalia Kosenkova, 35. All three were in the condo when Ms Smirnova fell.

Lt Gen Amphon said an autopsy had confirmed that Ms Smirnova was heavily intoxicated at the time of her death. “She was very drunk,” he said.

“All four of them were very drunk,” he added.

Ms Smirnova went to use the external stairs connecting the seventh and eighth floors, “which was very dangerous”, Lt Gen Amphon said.

“Everyone involved in the incident said that this person [Ms Smirnova] was drunk and unable to climb the stairs,” he continued.

Officers had found in the condo a small amount of marijuana, for which the three remaining tourists have been charged for joint possession of a Category 5 narcotic, he added.

In light of Ms Smirnova’s death, Region 8 Police are very concerned for tourists’ safety, Lt Gen said, while assuring that Phuket is a safe place to visit on holiday.

“I ask everyone to help take care of the tourists, and what is implied in such an incident, such as [tourists] getting drunk or travelling alone or in dangerous places and so on, please help support and take care of tourists,” he said.

"Now tourists are starting to come in, about 4,000 people a day, with Phuket regaining its popularity as a tourist destination, which is good and beneficial for the economy. We ask people to take care of tourists in particular, we ask people to take care of them because they are our paying guests.

“Don’t let issues become unclear or not transparent, the issue will only be talked about in a damaging way. With this situation, the Russian consulate has acknowledged that we have done our best in everything, nothing has been hidden,” he said.

Lt Gen Amphon said tourist safety had been made a high priority at a provincial level, with heads of local government offices and agencies ‒ including police, navy officers, tourist police, and immigration police ‒ meeting every Tuesday at the behest of the Governor to discuss safety issues.

Expanding CCTV coverage and marine tourism safety were two key issues continually discussed, he said.

However, Lt Gen Amphon made no mention about the safety of the external staircase on the building that Ms Smirnova fell from, or confirm whether it complied with building regulations with a low handrail as the only barrier to prevent people from falling over the side.

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Kurt | 10 June 2022 - 12:10:22

Attention foreign non-quality tourists! Play safe, or else we take our chance and come after you. Not with full force of our rubber laws, but with flip flopping fantasy charges while we warm up our mediation cash machine to help you understand Thailand before we deport you after making your pockets lighter.

JohnC | 10 June 2022 - 09:19:45

Funniest thing I've heard in ages. Thais discussing safety issues! Reminds me of a Thai friend many years ago trying to encourage me to go out drinking with him after a motorbike accident when I said no. To quote him: "That's the problem with you farangs, always safety first!" LOL

JohnC | 10 June 2022 - 09:14:49

I guess these people didn't make the standard for Thailand's idea of "quality tourists" so charging and deporting them is a quick way to get rid of bad rubbish. If the building had been better designed none of this would have happened. Put that in your report to Bangkok!

BigaAResort | 10 June 2022 - 07:31:17

Building regulations in Thailand ?
are there any ? Horst

DeKaaskopp | 09 June 2022 - 23:07:11

Did the Commander contact the usual know it all better experts on everything before his speech first? I guess not. So be prepared for a hefty reaction.


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