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Koh Phangan: "Broken" foreign divers languishing in jail - expect deportation

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Koh Phangan: "Broken" foreign divers languishing in jail - expect deportation

 

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The two foreign divers who filmed themselves touching marine creatures and posted their experiences on Youtube are still in the police cells on Koh Phangan.

 

Hungarian Attila Ott told Thaivisa from his jail cell: "We are totally broken".

 

Despite having spent seven years in Thailand and having a Thai wife, Attila said he expected to be deported to Hungary. 

 

His friend Francesco is expected to be deported to Italy.

 

"My wife and so many friends bring in food," he said. "We are waiting for the trial. We will pay a lot"

 

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Picture: Thai PBS

 

Attila,44, told Thaivisa that he first came to the country 20 years ago and fell in love with the country, its culture and ocean.

 

He said that he and his friend were not criminals "just stupid". He said they had no prior convictions. 

 

The video had shown the pair handling creatures such as sea cucumbers. 

 

Attila said that he was not in a protected area though conceded that 60% of the waters around the island were protected. 

 

This was disputed by the authorities last week.

 

Following the YouTube post that they now regret, their case got the attention of a Kaset university environmentalist and of the environment minister who demanded action from the department of marine and coastal resources. 

 

This led to their arrest.

 

Attila who describes himself as a videographer on Facebook said: "I was born in a tub of water, not in a hospital, because my parents believed that people have to interact with nature on a higher level, it makes a stronger immune system for everyone and I will be closer to the balance of nature.

 

(My) whole life I picked up the garbage in the forest , on the beach and under the water. I wanna wake up the people with exciting videos to stop polluting the nature. If they hug a tree, smell a flower, play with a crab on beach or swim and play with a sea cucumber, it helps to protect nature in their life in the future".

 

Last week, Thai Immigration said that both men had been granted permission to stay in Thailand due to the ‘visa amnesty’ afforded to foreigners left unable to travel due to COVID-19. However, that permission would be revoked following their arrests for diving and disturbing wildlife in protected waters. 

 

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-- © Copyright Thai Visa News 2020-09-09
 
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13 hours ago, rott said:

He's been here seven years but is on the tourist amnesty? 


He may be on a Marriage Extension or a Non-O Visa and thus can't do the "90 day" border run. As a result, he'd be on the "Amnesty" as is/was anyone else that would have had to leave the country in order to renew a Visa.

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