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Phuket airport's duty free shop, where the alleged theft took place

Extended Holiday on Phuket in Sunglasses Case

Thursday, January 20, 2011
AN AUSTRALIAN who allegedly stole a pair of Rayban sunglasses from the duty free shop at Phuket International Airport is now free and awaiting a hearing of the charge against him.

Gilman Ferreira Martins, 31, was arrested in the departure lounge at the airport on January 5. He has since spent seven days in Phuket Prison and was freed on 100,000 bail on January 14.

Yesterday Mr Martins' case was adjourned in Phuket Provincial Court for 12 days to allow police to properly prepare the case against him, although Phuketwan understands Mr Martins has been advised to plead guilty.

An adjournment of 12 days is standard in courts in Thailand, and it means Mr Martins has to adjust his plans to return to Australia and resume his regular life after his Phuket holiday accordingly.

This means the circumstances of the alleged theft on January 5 are likely to be determined in court on January 31.

Suggestions that a special court be established to speed cases against tourists visiting Phuket were rejected in 2009 because the principle in Thailand is that the law applies to everyone.

The complicating factor for Mr Martins and other like him is that ultimately, the fine for stealing the sunglasses, if he pleads guilty and is convicted, is likely to be small.

However, the additional penalty in cancelled flights, additional accommodation, legal fees, changes in work arrangements and the trips to Phuket by concerned relatives is likely to multiply the amount Mr Martins and his relatives have to pay by perhaps 100 times, or even more.

The case has created considerable interest among Phuket expats and visitors and is likely to be raised when Phuket's honorary consuls meet with Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha and other Phuket leaders next month.
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Comments

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oh dear - we're detaining criminals from their everyday occupations!!

Posted by another steve on January 20, 2011 19:18

Editor Comment:

I have problems with the constant ''us v them'' so I hesitate to ask where your ''we're'' comes from.

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Serve him right. From previous reports, it is quite clear he committed the theft and shamed other decent tourists and expats. (At least it wasn't a beer mat!) Little wonder the Russian mafia are moving in when it is so easy for everyday ne'er-do-wells to gain entry.

Posted by Ping on January 20, 2011 19:48

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Editor Comment:

I have problems with the constant ''us v them'' so I hesitate to ask where your ''we're'' comes from.

it's a nosism or majestic plural if you prefer!!

Posted by another steve on January 23, 2011 22:07

Editor Comment:

Either way, include me out.


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