Phuket Top Police Blasts Video Of Thai Man Slapping Russian

PHUKET – Commander of the police in Phuket province criticized the Russian man who made public the video of himself being slapped and threatened with a gun by a Thai man, saying the video has 'caused damage' to the image of Thailand.

Phuket news agency The Phuket News uploaded the video which was sent to them by  Mr. Vasiliv Tubaev onto Youtube website. The video appeared to record the moments when a Thai man showing up Mr. Tubaev′s room with a gun. In the video, the man could be seen slapping and threatening the Russian with his handgun, saying that Mr. Tubaev should leave his wife alone. The individual eventually left the room.

Phuket News reported that Mr. Tubaev was dating a woman who had not told him she was already seeing someone else, hence the angry responses from the woman′s husband. The news agency says Mr. Tubaev saw the man coming to his room, so he set a camera to record the confrontation.

Mr. Tubaev declined the offer of 10,000 baht in cash as compensation from the man and pressed charge instead, the Phuket News reported, adding that the Russian already left Phuket.

Today, Pol.Maj.Gen. Choti Chawarnvivat, commander of Phuket provincial police, hosted a press conference at the police HQ and gave out details about the matter. He said the incident took place at PN Mansion in Muang district on 6 June, and the police arrested the Thai individual on 12 June.

The suspect was identified as Mr. Patchara Utsaha, 37, a native of Trang province. Pol.Maj.Gen. Choti said the man confessed to his actions, saying that he threatened the Russian with his replica gun out of anger after Mr. Tubaev went on a date with his wife. The police commander added that the case is now being processed by the court.

Pol.Maj.Gen. Choti said he wanted to stress that Phuket police pressed importance on providing safety for foreign tourists. He insisted that every case that involved foreign tourist in Phuket is taken very seriously by his force.

"However, the video greatly damaged the people of Phuket … this is not the big picture or the work of some bureaucratic agency abusing this Russian. It is just the action of an individual and the police are working very seriously on the case," Pol.Maj.Gen. Choti said.

He voiced his suspicion about Mr. Tubaev′s intention, saying that the video looks "staged". He said the video might help individuals who want to cause damage to Phuket island′s tourism industry and paint a negative picture of the people of Phuket.

"We might be used as a tool to spread news about bad things we did," the police commander said.

Pol.Maj.Gen. Choti went on to say that Mr. Tubaev "hurt" Thailand and Phuket by airing the video "about his personal experience" instead of contacting the officials if he thought the police are not being fair to him.

He said he had tasked  the vice commander of Phuket provincial police to investigate what the motives of the news agency that uploaded the video are, especially whether the news agency has any intention to cause damage to the nation or the province. He warned that if the media agency is found to be violating media ethics or any law, it would be severely "dealt with".

He did not explicitly name The Phuket News as the target of his investigation.