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Lonely Phuket Farewell for a Holiday Hobo

Thursday, June 10, 2010
THE BODY of a Swedish woman whose death highlighted the problem of beggars from developed countries living in Thailand is to be cremated on Phuket tomorrow.

Gabriella Rose-Marie Strand, 60, was found dead in Patong on May 29. Since then, Swedish officials have mounted a search for her regular companion, Bjorn Lennart Lundqvist. Mr Lundqvist is believed to be in Thailand, but he has not been located and may not even be aware that Ms Strand has died.

Swedish officials have however managed to find Ms Strand's daughter, who asked for her mother's ashes to be sent back to Sweden.

Ms Strand and Mr Lundqvist, christened the ''Scamdinavians'' by Phuketwan, travelled backwards and forwards between Sweden and Thailand at least seven times in recent years, living off the generosity of Thais and other Swedes, begging meals and even medicines when required.

Consular officials say the problem is widespread among visitors from many countries. At least 80 Swedes visiting Thailand each year require economic assistance, and other nations experience similar requests.

While Thais who visit Europe are required to take out travel insurance, Europeans coming to Thailand are not required to do the same. It is believed Thai authorities fear such a policy would affect tourist numbers.

The German honorary consul on Phuket, Dirk Naumann, raised the issue at the meeting between envoys and leading Phuket authorities at Phuket Provinical Hall last month.
Phuket Search for Sweden's Holidaying Hobo
Latest The search is on for a Swedish man who shared an unusual life as an international travelling beggar on Phuket with a woman who died unexpectedly at the weekend.
Phuket Search for Sweden's Holidaying Hobo

Sad Phuket Death Riddle of Expat 'Scamdinavian'
Beggars' Banquet The death of a beggar from Sweden on Phuket raises the issue of how rich governments can allow their poor to pillage precious resources in Thailand.
Sad Phuket Death Riddle of Expat 'Scamdinavian'

Phuket Scamdinavians: Tourists Rip Off a Holiday
Latest A Phuket case that tugged at people's hearts before Christmas turns out to be a calculated attempt at winning sympathy by a couple who like others to pay for their holidays.
Phuket Scamdinavians: Tourists Rip Off a Holiday

Phuket Tragedy: Aussie Dies in World Cup Row Plunge
Latest An argument about which team will win the World Cup game between Australia and Germany has been followed by the death of an Aussie tourist in a Phuket balcony plunge.
Phuket Tragedy: Aussie Dies in World Cup Row Plunge

Phuket Pair Win Top Asia Pacific Reporting Awards
Latest Phuketwan's editorial team pick up two top journalism prizes at Asia Pacific awards: for Excellence in Investigative Reporting and for Excellence in Human Rights Reporting.
Phuket Pair Win Top Asia Pacific Reporting Awards

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Saturday December 4, 2021
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