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Australian Women Arrested In Phuket Over Bar Mat

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Amazing Thailand

Just how Amazing Thailand is, is now splattered all over the world's press.

The Malaysian Tourism Minister must be pisshing himself laughing.

Perhaps its time they changed their own Motto

Malaysia - Turly Asia (but not Thailand)


Don't report those pesky murders and jumpers because it's bad for tourism. Arrest and jail a 60 year old woman for several days over the theft of a bar mat. Priceless!

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Oh no, the Thai police now have a beer mat theft division that does undercover work in bars to smash a international beer mat theft ring.


His property, his bar, only the owner can press charges as it's his property.

How did the police know it was stolen? she might have payed $60 for one earlier in the evening, that is what Steve sells them for remember..

Someone reported it, that's for sure.

It stinks, he could go down to the police that he pays anyway and said she purchased it, easy and cleared up.

He chose to drag her through the legal system, way to go Steve.

If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.

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What would bar mat mean in this situation? Perhaps a mat on the table or a floor mat at the entrance? When I worked in restaurants, the bar mat was the heavy rubber floor covering that made it less slippery around the drink machines or bar.

Here are some sources:

I wonder why the media hasn't interviewed the friends who she says are responsible.



i read this report in todays melbourne age and heraldsun -- and i am not too sure what sort of restaurant u worked in before but the floor mats have never been call bar mats -- it was nothing like a mat the floor -- its a toweling cloth placed on top of the bar to mop up drinks - other wise known as a bar runner --= think u are taking about safety mats --

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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.

Exactly right.

This incident is receiving massive press coverage. Anyone watching it would be too scared to go to Thailand. The main issue for the general public is that you can be thrown into a filthy Thai jail without a trial for a trivial offence. This has happened to a 36 year old mother, not some Jordy lager lout. It's now obvious that everyone's in danger of upsetting an inferiority complexed Thai cop and getting thrown in jail. (not that you can blame them for having inferiority complexes; ugly, dumb, bad teeth, small penis, no personality)

We all go on holidays and get a bit drunk and sometimes play-up. But we don't expect to be thrown in jail for small misdemeanors. Thailand tourism will suffer for this. That's the issue no matter who thinks whom is to blame.

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3 to 5 years in jail for a mat??? when will they learn??? get into politics, is less risky, more profitable and if you do wrong, they even let you go oversea to spent the rest of your life on a sunny beach...

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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..

and u have never been drunk - u little saint -- b**sh** -- suggest you read the report in the aussi newpapers -- pretty good account of what took place - and i cant for the life of me believe some prick expat aussi bar owner would bother to press charges of such a minor infraction -- come on get a life -- he is making a fortune of farang tourists - but u can bet your bottom dollar that now that the word has got out about how much of a prick he is no one is going to enter his fine establishment again - and i wonder how much tax he pays - >??????

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This mornings headline from the "Herald Sun" Melbourne, Australia Any comment would be superfluous :)

A MELBOURNE mother is facing up to five years jail in Thailand over the alleged theft of a bar mat from a popular Phuket bar.

Montrose mother-of-four Annice Smoel, 36, was drinking in the Aussie Bar in Phuket with friends when they played a prank on her, putting a bar mat in her handbag.

Ms Smoel said undercover police in the bar stopped her on her way out. She was then arrested and spent two nights in a Thai jail cell.

“They came up to me and said ‘show us in the bag’. I had only just picked it up … had a quick look inside and saw there was something in it,” she told 3AW.

“I was nowhere near the handbag. One of the girls involved went down to the police on Sunday morning and confessed to the crime and apologised and they told her to go away, they didn't care.''

"I have been treated unfairly and held here for something I didn't do."

Ms Smoel said she initially thought police were letting her go but when she got outside they arrested her and put her in a 4m by 4m jail cell for two nights and three days.

Police have confiscated Ms Smoel’s passport and she has been stranded in Thailand for the past 17 days.

“I am doing ok, I am hanging in there. I don’t feel like I can really deal with what’s happened until I can get home and see my kids,” she said.

Ms Smoel, who was in Thailand with friends celebrating her mother’s 60th birthday, has four children aged six, eight, 11 and 12.

NOT true, I know Steve and he has had this bar for years and is a great guy

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I just have to weigh in here. It appears to me that the dissembling has begun by the Aussie parties involved to downplay this incident. A prank, yea sure, wasn't a particularly clever one was it?

As for most of the outraged posters, I get it now, you want the police to enforce the law against Thais, but if a white tourist is involved, "well hold on there a minute, you can't do that to us" attitude. And where did this part about paying off the police come up, some poster "alledged" she could have paid and then everyone ran with it as if it were a fact.

Yes, what the authorities are doing sounds harsh for the offense, but if she copped an attitude to the police and verbally abused them, then thats the main mistake she made. Do this in some countries and get a beating on top of jailing!

I have lived in many tourist areas, including Mexico, Honduras, Thailand, etc. and I noticed one common denominator is that a tourist can get away will a lot of silly pranks, but when you disrespect the locals, police or say bar operators/

biz employees, you are asking for trouble big time.

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Even if she'd been the most loud-mouth, abusive tourist in the whole of Phuket, there's an easy way to deal with this that doesn't involve throwing her in the slammer (or wherever) for god-knows-how-many-days....

"You're bard. Goodbye."

Didn't get there for some reason.

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Right now i think the BIB should come down to Chalong, Rawai, Nai Harn and try to solve all the break in and the mugging going on here and not put a woman in jail for a beer mat,


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A Melbourne mother is stuck in Thailand charged with theft and facing time in a Phuket jail cell.

Thirty-six-year-old Annice Smoel says: "I get very scared when I see police. I'm just trying to keep it together, so I can get home." Undercover police arrested Smoel in the early morning hours of May 3.

Patong Police claim Smoel stole a bar mat from Phuket's Aussie Bar. Smoel spent the next day in a four-metre-by-four-metre cell with three other women.

Police have confiscated Smoel's passport. Smoel says she is struggling with a severe language barrier and doesn't know what will happen next.

She is facing between two and five years jail - and has not been given any food in the past four days according to her lawyer.

3AW Breakfast is speaking to Smoel, her husband and lawyer now.

And if true, another one for the popularity of Thailand?


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I fail to see the difference between a Jordy Drunk and an Aussie one?????????/ Just be cause she has a front ass as well as a back you think she is a better drunk than a jordy??? Amazing.........

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