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Spearfishing Dutchman nabbed in Phuket

PHUKET: A Dutch national has been brought in for questioning in Phuket over spearfishing illegally in Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Tuesday 16 August 2022, 12:55PM

The Dutchman, named by police as Roslan Benedia, was tracked down by national park officials to a coffee shop in Soi Ta-ied, Chalong, at 3:30pm yesterday (Aug 15), said Lt Col Ekachai Siri of the Phuket Tourist Police.

The national park officers became aware of the incident after Mr Roslan posted a video of his fishing exploits on TikTok, showing Mr Roslan holding two parrotfish, three unknown fish, and stabbing a moray eel in the head with a knife.

The video, which has since been removed from online, spurred outrage among Thai netizens and gained the attention of Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, who vowed to track down the culprit.

Mr Roslan told park officials yesterday that on Aug 9 he rented a boat from Phi Phi Don to Phi Phi Lei with Krishna Thodting as the boat captain.

He had rented the speargun from an operator on Phi Phi Don Island. Mr Krishna took him to hunt fish at Phi Phi Lei at about 1pm, he said.

Mr Roslan said that he did not know that the area where he was fishing was a national park area.

Officers at Phi Phi Police Station are gathering evidence with the intent of charging him for fishing illegally in protected national park waters, officers confirmed.

The boat operator, boat captain Mr Krishna charters and the speargun rental provider are all also under investigation.

Lt Col Ekachai said that so far Mr Roslan had been brought in for questioning only. At this stage, no charges have been pressed, he said.

Marine officials ramped up their efforts to protect marine life in protected areas in 2017, and began to levy heavy fines for transgressions.

Olga Smirnova, a 53-year-old Russian grandmother, spent two nights behind bars at Chalong Police Station after she was caught feeding bread to fish at Racha Yai Island, south of Phuket.

She was eventually released after a ‘friend’ posted B100,000 bail.

In the end, following the involvement of the Russian Consulate-General in Phuket, Ms Smirnova was fined B1,000 and allowed to go home.

Ms Smirnova’s case followed a Chinese tourist being fined B100,000 for having two parrotfish in a plastic bottle at Racha Yai.

Signs have been posted at Racha Yai informing visitors of the consequences of interfering with marine life in protected areas, including coral reefs.


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JohnC | 18 August 2022 - 10:06:12

If I had one baht for every Thai I have seen spearfishing at Phuket beaches I'd be a fairly wealthy man. I've seen them spearing parrotfish, long toms, rabbit fish and many other species not very edible. Fine to make examples of stupid tourists but how about doing something about your own people too.

Kamala Pete | 17 August 2022 - 12:41:16

If someone is going to obtain a lethal weapon and then go hunting then they have an obligation to ensue that their actions are legal. Ignorance is no excuse. What if a Thai rented a hunting bow in the states and went shooting in Yellowstone claiming that he didn't know it was a park? Phuket national park info is easily available on the net.

christysweet | 17 August 2022 - 10:16:20

By all means, attend to a police summons attired in a G-string for a shirt. Showing off one's muscular physique always helps  in these sort of situations.

charles | 16 August 2022 - 21:03:06

so this so called mistake by the Dutchman would not have been possible if it were not for the boat captain & spear gun rentor who should be held as equally responsible 

Kurt | 16 August 2022 - 19:02:02

Dutchman must face the music, although his excuse is valid.
, he was guided. But sure the boat operator Krishna is even more quilty. He sailed the client to the fish location and guided. In Thailand one is in trouble when in position of a bullet proof vest, seen as weapon by law. How is that with a speargun, even without a license? No photos of the boat captain/guide. Mediation procedure?

Capricornball | 16 August 2022 - 15:45:03

All kinds of stupid on this one. Dutchboy ought to pay dearly for his wasteful rampage on sealife. For once I'm with Dek...why would you stab a moral in the head unless he has ahold of you. But Khun Krishna really ought to be nailed to the cross for this. Krishna charters knew better than anyone that what and where Dutchboy was doing was illegal, but he knowingly facilitated and condoned it

DeKaaskopp | 16 August 2022 - 14:20:52

Another Dutch idiot who likes to post/show his stupidity on the internet. Stabbing a moray eel in the head with a knife ? Jeez,he must have a real small d... !


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