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.