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Australian Women Arrested In Phuket Over Bar Mat


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3AW Breakfast spoke to the owner of Phuket's Aussie Bar before he boarded a plane to Bangkok this morning.

Australian Steve Wood says: "I think she just rubbed the wrong people the wrong way,” when asked what happened the night police arrested Annice Smoel.

Wood says he wasn't at the bar when police arrested Smoel.

He says bar employees told him police saw Smoel's friends roll up the bar mat and place it in a bag. He says when police confronted Smoel 'she did a runner'.

Police later caught up with Smoel on the beach and walked the Montrose woman to the Patong Police station near the Aussie Bar.

Wood says he has been told the Patong Police Chief was in the station when police brought Smoel in and he has been told she 'verbally abused him'.

Wood says bar patrons try to steal the mats 'all the time'. He says bar staff usually catch would-be thieves and 'talk' to them about the attempted theft.

In Smoel's situation, he says it's different because police saw the act. He adds the mats are for sale in the pub. They sell for $60.

So lets hear it not from her mouth huh !!!

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Her mates say they did it.. Now they are back safely in Oz they made a stat dec to say it was them....

Now some pissed up hen night shielas (and I have seen some of the worst behavior from ozzie women on Bangla) get caught nicking stuff, and its 'poor little them'..

They dont even deny they did it.. So wait out your bail..

Well, from the reports that I have read...

The women who was arrested does deny it.

The person that did do it went to the police and told them that she was responsible and the police told her to go away. They were not interested.

Video evidence has been mentioned, but nothing specific.

As some people here seem to know the owner of the bar, perhaps they can find out what really happened.

Edit. I now see that a quote from the owner has been posted

Edited by loong
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well if she tried to run, and thought she could get away with that 'Ozzie girl' behavior, I'm glad she's gonna be taught a lesson. Too much of this poor behavior in Australia..... drunken louts who think they don't need to give any respect to anyone and can act like complete muppets.....

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It's the lead story on the Melbourne "Age" right now.

Melbourne mum arrested over Thai bar 'prank'

Next Phuket-mum2-600x400.jpg A Melbourne mother-of-four is facing up to five years in a Thai prison after allegedly stealing a bar mat from an Aussie-theme bar in Phuket.

Hide details Thirty-six-year-old Annice Smoel faces jail in Thailand for the alleged theft of a bar-mat Photo: 3aw.com.au

More here :-

http://www.theage.com.au/travel/travel-new...90519-bd3r.html

A couple of snips from the article

: Ms Smoel told Radio 3AW this morning that she didn't do it.

"Since the time of her arrest, one of her children has been hospitalised for appendicitis and when she made an application to the court to return home her request was denied," Mr Murphy said.

and :

She said a friend had confessed to police that she had done it and there was video evidence proving her innocence.

"There was video evidence in the bar. I was nowhere near the handbag," she said.

"One of the girls involved went down to the police station on Sunday morning and confessed to the crime and apologised and they [Thai police] told her to go away. They didn't care.

"Apparently the police have 48 days to investigate the crime.

Edited by LeungKen
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He says bar employees told him police saw Smoel's friends roll up the bar mat and place it in a bag. He says when police confronted Smoel 'she did a runner'.

So is the charge theft or what?

If the police actually saw the friend roll up the mat and put it in her bag, then they know that she is not guilty.

I don't know this bar, but assuming that it is a Farang tourist spot, would undercover Thai police go in? Most tourist bars that I know, Thai men customers would stick out like a sore thumb.

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Headline should be 'Drunk ozzie shiela abuses Chief of Police'.. Thats whats got her into the problem shes in.

Again shes out on bail. She was in a cell, not the jail, and she doesnt even deny it happened and she did a runner.. And shes still whining ??

Why is this news and Burroughs everyone got on his case.. He did nothing wrong until they held him and made him miss his flight.. Then he may have said something impolite.. but hes a black guy so he can do 3 weeks in a proper jail before he gets bail and months of hassle, loses his job, his home, etc.. This chick gets all teary on the radio and eveyone defends her..

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He says bar employees told him police saw Smoel's friends roll up the bar mat and place it in a bag. He says when police confronted Smoel 'she did a runner'.

So is the charge theft or what?

If the police actually saw the friend roll up the mat and put it in her bag, then they know that she is not guilty.

I don't know this bar, but assuming that it is a Farang tourist spot, would undercover Thai police go in? Most tourist bars that I know, Thai men customers would stick out like a sore thumb.

Some big bars, keep some off duty cops around, so as to help out in any security issues..

Theres a lot more off duty cops than most people realize.. Sit back when sober and look around the bangla frontage.. Around shipwreck, rio, a few places.. Often a couple of plain clothes sitting watching the road.

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The bar owner has said on radio that his bar staff saw others put the towel in the bag.

They also report that she was rude to the police.

When will Phucket learn. If it wants a tourist industry it cannot continue to have Simon Burrowes type of incidents through loss of face.

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I do believe "shakedown" is the appropriate word in this situation. 20,000 baht and she would have walked free. Now it's going to cost her a lot more to stay here for the court proceedings and end up with a measly 500 baht fine and deportation.
Corruption pure and simple.

I just asked my Thai wife what would happen if a Thai person was caught for the same offence.

Just a small fine was her response.

Yeah and who thinks that a smart head couldnt have dropped 5 or 10k on a 'fine' and walked if handled right.. Whose betting loud mouth drunk ozzie women giving it the 'you cant do that to me' attitude that comes out when they are on Bangla (or Bali ??)..

Dont forget in her own words (radio interview) they told her to stop, she gave them the bag, then tried to do a runner down the stairs and out into the street.. You do a runner from Thai cops and your going to be in the shit list straight away.. Act like a <deleted> and pay the price basically.

Her account just sounds odd. When confronted, she hands the bag to her friends to deal with, not participating in the discussion. Then she hears something to the effect of they could go, she could go. So she leaves without her bag and her friends it seems. Doesn't sound like she was looking back or she'd have known they were following her down the stairs and that maybe she shouldn't leave. Seems more likely that she was goaded into carrying it by her friends and did have knowledge of it.

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3AW Breakfast spoke to the owner of Phuket's Aussie Bar before he boarded a plane to Bangkok this morning.

In Smoel's situation, he says it's different because police saw the act. He adds the mats are for sale in the pub. They sell for $60.

Wow $60 ?? Did that include a BG or what? :)

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3AW Breakfast spoke to the owner of Phuket's Aussie Bar before he boarded a plane to Bangkok this morning.

In Smoel's situation, he says it's different because police saw the act. He adds the mats are for sale in the pub. They sell for $60.

Wow $60 ?? Did that include a BG or what? :)

Well obviously priced so as to discourage buying but allow if someone really wants it..

They are hardly in the business of selling beer mats are they.

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What is funny is that Steve Wood, the Aussie bar owner is also guilty of theft.

He has illegal sattelite tv from Papua new Guinea that broadcasts the NRL and AFL in his bar.

He discussed it openly.

I am sure he has the BiB in his back pocket anyway.

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Headline should be 'Drunk ozzie shiela abuses Chief of Police'.. Thats whats got her into the problem shes in.

Again shes out on bail. She was in a cell, not the jail, and she doesnt even deny it happened and she did a runner.. And shes still whining ??

Why is this news and Burroughs everyone got on his case.. He did nothing wrong until they held him and made him miss his flight.. Then he may have said something impolite.. but hes a black guy so he can do 3 weeks in a proper jail before he gets bail and months of hassle, loses his job, his home, etc.. This chick gets all teary on the radio and eveyone defends her..

From what I have read, she is accused of theft, not verbally abusing the Chief of Police.

She does deny the theft, her friend has admitted that she put the towel in the bag.

I can't say for sure what I would have done in this women's situation. What would you do if stopped by plains clothes police who want to look in your bag and you see a rolled up towel that shouldn't be there. A rolled up towel could have anything inside it. I'm afraid that my first thought is likely to be that drugs have been planted by police on the take. I think that I would panic as well.

I can't remember what Mr Burroughs was actually charged with, but his situation was just as ridiculous as this one.

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Another foreign tourist arrested, jailed in Phuket

PHUKET: According to a story released this morning by AAP, Australia's national news agency, a Melbourne mother of four is facing five years in a Thai jail after allegedly "stealing" a bar mat ['coaster'] from a Phuket pub.

The report says 36-year-old Annice Smoel was arrested by undercover police as she left the Aussie Bar in Patong on May 3.

She says friends had put the bar mat in her handbag as a prank, but the undercover police working in the bar found the mat and arrested her. She spent two nights in a four-metre-by-four-metre jail cell.

"I had only just picked it up … had a quick look inside and saw there was something in it," she said.

"I was nowhere near the handbag – one of the girls involved went down to the police and confessed and apologised, and they told her to go away."

Ms Smoel, who was in the country to celebrate her mother's 60th birthday, has been stranded in Thailand for the past 17 days after police confiscated her passport.

She said she was hanging in there, but wanted to get home as soon as possible to see her four children, aged six, eight, 11 and 12.

If she is found guilty, Ms Smoel faces between two and five years in jail, the AAP report says.

Ms Smoel is now stranded in Phuket as the police have seized her passport pending adjudication of the case. It is understood that her husband has returned to Melbourne to look after the couple's children.

The incident follows the arrest and incarceration for 3 weeks of British national Simon Burrowes earlier this year after he had spoken "rudely" with an Immigration officer at Phuket International Airport. He was finally found guilty of the offense in court and fined 500 baht (approx US$ 14.28).

pglogo.jpg

-- Phuket Gazette 19/5/09

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terrible........... Thailand has a big "tourist campaign" after they keep doing this sort of stuff they had better increase the budget...... somehow they dont realize their "come to Thailand" commercials are mostly seen by people already here and not in the rest of the world and their bad publicity is seen world wide

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What would a tourist nick a bar mat for? :D

Another surprising aspect she was only in jail cell with 3 others - usually lot more than that.

Sounds to me like not even the real jail.. Just the cells a couple of nights while they sorted her bail..

Jail...sounds more like a bloody holiday camp. The cops have to snuff out this kind of crime, if not what next thing to get nicked from bars? glasses? sauce bottles? vegimite?

Bout time all those Aussie politicians and talk back whingers butted out and let the Thai rule of law sort the situation. :)

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What is funny is that Steve Wood, the Aussie bar owner is also guilty of theft.

He has illegal sattelite tv from Papua new Guinea that broadcasts the NRL and AFL in his bar.

He discussed it openly.

I am sure he has the BiB in his back pocket anyway.

Why would he want to steal something that is free to air? Australia Network (ex ABC) broadcasts at least 4 AFL and 2 NRL games into SE Asia - India etc every weekend. PSI is one provider in Thailand there may be more!
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What is funny is that Steve Wood, the Aussie bar owner is also guilty of theft.

He has illegal sattelite tv from Papua new Guinea that broadcasts the NRL and AFL in his bar.

He discussed it openly.

I am sure he has the BiB in his back pocket anyway.

Why would he want to steal something that is free to air? Australia Network (ex ABC) broadcasts at least 4 AFL and 2 NRL games into SE Asia - India etc every weekend. PSI is one provider in Thailand there may be more!

Aus network popped up FTA on Astro recently too..

But of course easier to start blaming Steve for this mess..

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The thread's going a little off track with debate on satellite TV.

For me, the relevance of this post is not whether the lady actually committed an offence or not, it's more to do with the Australian (and no doubt soon to be international) perception of justice in action in Phuket, and the broader context of Thailand. I would also anticipate a lot more 'horror' stories of treatment in Thailand surfacing, through blogs etc. Will it influence the decision of (particularly Australian) tourists to visit Thailand, I think undoubtably. The hotel and bar owners in Bali must be smiling this morning.

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You drink there?

Very un-australian and his business will suffer now he has done this, you think aussies will continue to flock to his bar?

He could have easily sorted it out without having her charged, he knows the legal system sucks here and is draconian but he put her to the sword.

I would not be surprised if someone relieved him of a few teeth over this.

It was his property and his bar he chose to press charges over it, plain and simple.

BiB's could not care less about a shitty beer mat.

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Seriously bad move, if the national government has any sense they will order her passport returned and pay for her flight home immediately, regardless of what the Aussie bar owner wants. I bet a few of the local dirt mucking foreign journalists are already writing up some juicy stories.

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What a crock of sh1t,, as if this is the real reason, a bar mat really, anyone with half a brain that knows thailand will know this "offence" wouldnt have left the bar, OR police negotiations,i think western "principles " will be involved, lets wait and see,.

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You drink there?

Very un-australian and his business will suffer now he has done this, you think aussies will continue to flock to his bar?

He could have easily sorted it out without having her charged, he knows the legal system sucks here and is draconian but he put her to the sword.

I would not be surprised if someone relieved him of a few teeth over this.

It was his property and his bar he chose to press charges over it, plain and simple.

BiB's could not care less about a shitty beer mat.

Why is Steve at fault.. You think he needs this hassle ?? You think he 'had her charged' ?? where do you get this info ??

The articles say he wasnt there.. The police acted, she got arrested, gobbed off, and is now paying the price for it.. Drunkenly running off from Thai cops ?? Gobbing off at the chief of police.. This is Steves fault now ??

As to your idea of Aussies stopping drinking there ?? I will take that bet..

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What a crock of sh1t,, as if this is the real reason, a bar mat really, anyone with half a brain that knows thailand will know this "offence" wouldnt have left the bar, OR police negotiations,i think western "principles " will be involved, lets wait and see,.

Exactly.. The 'crime' isnt the beer mat.. the crime is running away from the cops, fleeing when they told her to stop, and then gobbing off at the chief of police back at the station..

Simon spent 3 weeks in a jail and months sorting this out and everyone on here slated him.. He must have been 'aggressive' or 'rude'.. Anyone whose seen the hen night type ozzie shielas down Bangla will have a guess how this went down.

I feel sorry for this Lady - Innocent fun and now facing Years in a Thai Jail.

The admit they did it "as a prank"..

And 'innocent' of resisting arrest ?? They wouldnt do a runner from an Aussie cop.. but they think just cos they are in Thailand and western they can act out and do what they like..

Edited by LivinLOS
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And 'innocent' of resisting arrest ?? They wouldnt do a runner from an Aussie cop.. but they think just cos they are in Thailand and western they can act out and do what they like..

It doesn't matter. Thailand has a very bad reputation in the world. Detaining a woman over this, even if she resisted arrested, makes Thailand look even worse in the eyes of the world.

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