PHUKET: The 18-year-old Danish man who was found guilty of falsely reporting a gang attack on Phuket’s Kamala Beach on New Year’s Eve has been fined 500 baht and handed down a two-year suspended jail sentence – but has not been deported.
An officer at the Phuket Provincial Court told the Phuket Gazette
this morning that Morten Budtz Berthelsen, reportedly the son of a senior executive in Bisca A/S, the largest provider of cakes and biscuits in Denmark, was presented to the court on Thursday.
“He was found guilty of providing false information to a government officer and fined 500 baht and sentenced to two years in jail, but the jail sentence was suspended,” the officer said.
However, the officer said that he could not confirm or deny whether or not Mr Berthelsen was ordered to be deported or not.
Snr Sgt Maj Jaruwan Cheaynonsung, the officer at Phuket Immigration who is responsible for logging any court-ordered deportations, told the Gazette
this morning that he had not received an order for anyone by the name of "Morten Budtz Berthelsen" to be deported.
“Looking back at our records for the more than the past week, we have received no order and have no record of a Mr Berthelsen,” he said.
The suspended jail sentence came after Kamala Police charged Mr Berthelsen with falsely claiming that five Thai men robbed him of valuables worth almost 150,000 baht on New Year’s Eve.
Mr Berthelsen reported to Kamala Police on January 1 that he had been robbed the night before. He claimed that after celebrating New Year’s Eve with his family, he had gone out alone to a nearby bar, after which he walked along Kamala Beach.
He alleged that during his stroll five men threatened to beat him if he didn’t give them his valuables, including an Omega watch with an estimated value of 95,000 baht, two gold bracelets valued at 20,600 baht, an iPhone5 worth 29,150 baht and his wallet, which contained his credit card.
After he handed over his possessions, the thugs threw him into the sea and fled, he claimed.
Police were suspicious of his claim due to a lack of clarity.
“When we questioned him about the circumstances and location where the incident took place, he talked confusedly and could not give us clear answers,” Kamala Police Deputy Superintendent Suphawich Suwanphirom told the Gazette
Police checked CCTV images from the hotel and found that at the time of the purported robbery, Mr Berthelsen was actually at the front desk of the hotel talking with hotel staff, after which he went back to his room.
Police could see on the CCTV video that Mr Berthelsen was wearing the Omega watch.
“We showed him the CCTV image and he confessed that he had made a false report,” Lt Col Suphawich said.Additional reporting by Orawin Narabal