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A Canadian is charged in Thailand over corals taken from Indonesia

Phuket Expat Charged Over Coral Taken From Indonesian Waters

Friday, November 8, 2013
PHUKET: A Canadian man who told police that he took some coral from Indonesia for his home aquarium in Phuket City has been charged.

Phuket expat Ted Blenkers, 54, was spotted transferring the coral from a boat at Ao Po Marina to a van with Bangkok licence plates.

Police reacted quickly, arresting Mr Blenkers at a road block near the Heroines' Monument about 3.45pm.

Ten appealing pieces of coral in the van were confiscated.

Mr Blenkers was charged with importing coral without a permit.

Comments

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4 policemen to arrest an elderly man with a few bits of coral! Now get out there & arrest all the fishing boats that are trawling & wrecking the dive sites.

Posted by Logic on November 8, 2013 12:29

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"Roadblock" ? Why not take care of your own degrading waters and reefs around the Andaman? But surely, it's more easy to catch this expat and foreigner.

Posted by Wilai on November 8, 2013 13:32

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Great use of police resources. I just came from beach road in Patong only to find it choked with the usual tuktuks blotting out the views and not to mention the illegal motorbike 4rent guys. Nice to see the MiB have their priorities right as usual.

Posted by Tom on November 8, 2013 14:10

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I agree that people removing corals from the ocean should be charged. We have to protect our environment.

However, Police should also arrest the owners of shops in Phuket selling exactly the same products to tourists very openly. Do those shops have special permits in exchange for a monthly licence fee?

Posted by Mr. K on November 8, 2013 14:20

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My goodness those are some beautiful specimens. He must have quite the aquarium.

Congrats to the Police in making this arrest...now said coral can adorn a local officials aquarium instead of this Expat.

Posted by C&C on November 8, 2013 15:07

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4 BiB's catching a big fish, impressing job !
They really can be proud...

Posted by Resident on November 8, 2013 16:56

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He probably took them from Indo as he was not able to find specimens in such good condition in Thai waters.

Posted by Digital Diver on November 8, 2013 17:08

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He should have asked the people down the road in Rawai, to get them here. They would have carried them to his van, fresh out of the longtail, where the air-compressor is stored.
Alternativly, buy them in the Rawai sea-shell museum and shop.
No problems with police, this way

Posted by Anonymous on November 8, 2013 17:44

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A lot of cynicism here. If everyone did what this idiot has done there would be no reefs left anywhere. Good on the police for arresting him.

Posted by pozz59 on November 9, 2013 09:06

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Fine him here big time then send him back to Indonesia with the coral to face charges their 1 years in jail for each piece should do the trick.

Posted by mike on November 9, 2013 10:35

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The comments on the police intervention are inappropriate. This was not an elderly man. He was spry enough to move the coral. If guilty of the activity, he is a selfish irresponsible thief and a vandal. The Thai government has often been criticized for inaction, but now that it catches someone, the critics are out in droves. The coral takes years if not decades to grow. It's loss damages habitat for fish which in turn deprives fishermen of their livelihood. This wasn't just an (alleged) theft, but an economic crime that deprives people of a way to make an honest living. I doubt this was a one off offense and I wonder how much damage this man has done over the years. He's not going to get much sympathy from his own country because this sort of activity is subject to serious penalties in his country. If guilty I hope he spends some time in a jail to ponder his behaviour.

Posted by Ryan on November 9, 2013 11:03

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- pozz59

The problem is a lot of locals are doing just this and the police are doing nothing to stop them.

They even have a big sea shell shop selling such items and nobody blinks an eye.

The cynicism stems from, once again, selective law enforcement.

Posted by ThaiMike on November 9, 2013 12:16

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@thaimike the problem is : a lot of peoples are in Thailand to critic local and judge the custom like you did, you miss understand one thing, the local and the thai customs are belong to them, you are not in your land , so stop to point local because farang in Thailand have a huge way to show the good example, farang are in Thailand far to be a examples, so guy look around about your attitude in a land it's not yours , and then you can probably say something about thai morality, too many peoples like you in a island !

Posted by dede on November 9, 2013 14:51

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- dede

You seem to confuse local customs with the Law.

Law is the same for everyone, or at least it should be.

For a destination which receives over 80% of it's revenue from tourism and prides itself as being a world class destination of international standards your "local customs" do not cut it.

If you don't want "people like" me who are not putting up with biased law enforcement, corruption and intimidation, I suggest you call up TAT and tell them to stop marketing Phuket and Thailand in general for foreigners to visit.

I have the right to express my opinion just like everyone else has. It's not something exclusive to Thai people.

You seem to advocate a system like they have in North Korea. Getting a visa is difficult and expensive. All activities and tours are prearranged with mandatory visits to propaganda sites and no critical questions or opinions are tolerated.

Basically visiting North Korea means pay up and shut up. Great idea, huh ?

Sadly, if you look at the tourism numbers of North Korea, they don't seem to be doing so well.

I wonder why.

Posted by ThaiMike on November 9, 2013 17:38


Thursday December 9, 2021
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