''Many male tourists who visited Phuket for sex found themselves losing consciousness after kissing the breasts of sex workers, China Press reported.''
Shock! Horror! We know there are many aspects of Phuket's seldom-seen netherworld that are hidden from those of us who lead normal lives. But this?
The rest of the article at thestar.com.my was just as jaw-dropping.
''Quoting an article by Hong Kong's Apple Daily, it said many of the men found their money and valuables missing after they regained consciousness.
''The daily reported that the sex workers applied unknown chemicals on their breasts.
''One of the girls from the syndicate, Joob, 24, said more than 10 women were involved, adding that men from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore were their targets.
'''They are more timid and usually won't lodge a police report afterwards.Normally, we can find a few thousand Thai bahts on them,' she said.
''She added that 1500 baht was then given to the mastermind each time they pulled off the stunt. The daily reported that the mastermind could earn up to RM540,000 a year.''
Phuketwan has been unable to confirm this report with Phuket police or with usually reliable sources, often more knowledgeable than we are about such matters.
It's certainly true that rumors about drink-spiking circulate from time to time, as the recent arrest of six women in Patong in possession of drugs used in spiking drinks demonstrated.
No victims were produced, however, so perhaps the one point that the article may be correct about is the timidity of some men.
Drink spiking? We can accept that there are times when it does happen on Phuket, most probably in Patong. But breast spiking? We await firm evidence.