Pol Maj Gen Surachet Hakphan, commander of the Tourist Police Division, talked about a possible deportation at a news briefing on the resort island today (Jan 18).
Sergei Milentie, 31, had been hired to run Similan Bar on Koh Phangan by Chanin Pechsri, 54, mayor of Tha Khanon municipality. Three Thai suspects, including Mr Chanin, were also taken into custody.
Pol Maj Gen Surachet said it was believed Mr Milentie was behind the gun attack on Palita Lodge Bungalow. Evidence and official records also revealed he had violated the laws on foreign employment and entertainment places.
If found guilty by the Thai court, the Russian would be deported, he said at the briefing, where Mr Milentie also attended with an interpreter.
Also present at the conference were Pol Maj Gen Apichart Boonsrirote, the Surat Thani provincial police superintendent, and Pol Lt Col Thanapong Mokthong, deputy chief of Surat Thani immigration police.
Mr Milentie said that he had been in Thailand for three years and was unaware that he had broken the Thai laws. He denied involvement in the shooting of the Palita Lodge Bungalow. He also denied having acted as a foreign mafia.
The police said the Russian would be given justice throughout the judicial process.
Pol Maj Gen Surachet said Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon was concerned over reports of influential persons whose involvement in tourism-related businesses had affected the country’s tourism and had ordered a crackdown on them.
Gen Prawit’s particular attention was on foreigners running businesses in Thailand and acting as influential persons, he said.
Mr Milentie would be deported if found guilty as charged, Pol Maj Gen Surachet said.
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