Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Russian tourist faces jail for handing out ‘souvenir dollars’ in bar

Russian tourist faces jail for handing out ‘souvenir dollars’ in bar

RAYONG: A Russian tourist on holiday with his family has been arrested for bringing counterfeit foreign currency into Thailand and distributing counterfeit currency after he gave play money imitation “souvenir dollars” to bar staff allegedly as a joke.

Friday 4 October 2019, 01:16PM

The Russian Embassy in Bangkok confirmed the arrest yesterday (Oct 3).

Russian Embassy Consular Head Vladimir Pronin said the arrest was conducted in Rayong, a predominantly industrial province with a few key resort locations, such as Koh Samet.

Mr Pronin did not give a date for the arrest, but added that the tourist has been released on bail while the investigation and court process continues.

“The Russian national is charged according to two articles of the Criminal Code of Thailand – bringing counterfeit foreign currency into the country and distributing counterfeit currency,” Russian news service TASS quoted Mr Pronin as saying.

TASS did not specify the amount of bail or name the tourist, but the Yekaterinburg edition of the national newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda and other Russian news outlets named the man as Vadim Vedenyapin, from Yekaterinburg.

Russian media reports highlighted a post on Instagram, attributed as posted by Mr Vedenyapin’s wife Ekaterina, on Sept 30 saying, “Urgent! We are in Thailand. On holidays with kids. One of us got into trouble. Made a lame joke. Bought toy bucks [US dollars] for kids to play and gave to locals as a present. Turned out to be no great souvenir from Rasha [from Russia]. Here everything is treated seriously. In Thailand they failed to get the joke. The court hearing is tomorrow. The laws in Thailand are tough. Very tough.” (See post here.)’

Later the woman stressed that her husband had no intention to use the play money for payment.

“How is it possible to throw a man into jail for such a nonsense?! These banknotes have indications that they a ‘souvenir products’ in two places on them,” Komsomolskaya Pravda quotes Ekaterina as saying. (See news report here.)

Photographs of the banknotes posted alongside the story show warnings printed on the banknotes saying the notes are “souvenir products” and “are not a means of payment”, though the warnings are not printed large and not highlighted in a different colour on the notes.

Photos of the notes published by Komsomolskaya Pravda were credited as “From a personal archive”, the same credit as under the picture of Vadim Vedenyapin taken from Ekaterina's Instagram.

Laguna Golf Phuket

RT news services reported that bail for Mr Vedenyapin was initially set at B150,000, but increased later.

RT also published details from a source named only as “Aleksandr”, presented in the story as a friend of Mr Vedenyapin who witnessed the events which resulted in the arrest and criminal charges. See RT report here.)

According to Aleksandr, Mr Vedenyapin was drinking in a bar and paying for his drinks with Thai baht.

At some point staff at the venue noticed Mr Vedenyapin’s “souvenir” banknotes, mistook them for genuine American banknotes and “started charming him and offering extras”.

Finally, Mr Vedenyapin decided to give the staff several notes “as souvenirs”, said the report.

Having later discovered that the money was not real, the staff offered Mr Vedenyapin to settle the misunderstanding by paying each of them B1,000, or they would call the police.

Mr Vedenyapin rejected the offer.

Section 240 of the Criminal Code (Counterfeiting) and Section 243 (Bringing Items to be Counterfeit) present identical punishment of 10 up to 20 years in prison or a fine of B20,000 to B40,000 or both.

Section 247 adds that in case of money issued by a foreign Government the offender shall be liable to one half of the punishment as provided in a corresponding section. It is not clear which exact section was meant under “distributing counterfeit currency”. (See law here.)

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


Kurt | 04 October 2019 - 16:46:27

Oh Boy, russian sense of humor not the same as that of thai. Bar staff to dumb to notice that the dollars were souvenir product and started charming russian and offering 'extras'. The moment  discovering it were not real dollars they felt lost face and tried to make some money with blackmailing. Great bar hosts. Cheap people. Why not give a 20-40,000 thb fine and  case closed?

Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
International lifesaving chief speaks out on Phuket lifeguards

I see the Expat leisure class is still celebrating and dressing up to celebrate cruelty to horses - ...(Read More)

International lifesaving chief speaks out on Phuket lifeguards

Well, the world now knows what is wrong in Thailand, specially on Phuket when it comes to beach safe...(Read More)

Phuket Immigration confirms bank balance, income ‘combo’ for O-A permit to stay still available

So, those of us on O visas who have been here many years and convert their O visa annually w for the...(Read More)

Phuket weather warning re-issued

The TMD is the most unreliable weather site in Thailand! They are almost always wrong and they tend ...(Read More)

Council worker hanged to fence believed suicide, police probe hotel security guard found dead in rented room

A body found hung from a fence should - under no circumstances be moved until a police medical inves...(Read More)

Phuket Immigration confirms bank balance, income ‘combo’ for O-A permit to stay still available

Interesting little nugget of info here- “We don’t have the right to refuse an application that ...(Read More)

Patong Police hunting for foreigner wanted for $30k theft from exchange booth

Hahaha, the boys in the money booth thought they made the 'change of the month'. It must fee...(Read More)

Multi-tier prices at state hospitals now in effect in Phuket

"Kaaskop with a single p means cheese-head," my understanding is with 1 "p" it m...(Read More)

Multi-tier prices at state hospitals now in effect in Phuket

Correct Oesi, Kaaskop with a single p means cheese-head in the Netherlands. Now do your homework and...(Read More)