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A policeman in Patong with the Aussie and the Phuket tiger prawns today

Patong Tourist Walked Off With Raw Prawns

Saturday, March 28, 2015
PHUKET: An Australian tourist who stole two raw tiger prawns while strolling past a restaurant on the holiday island of Phuket early today was pursued through the streets, arrested by police and fined 500 baht for being drunk and disorderly.

The man, named by police in Patong as Jacob Saveisberg, 27, was not charged with night theft, which in Thailand carries a severe penalty.

An officer at Kathu Police Station, which oversees the popular nightlife hub of Patong on Phuket's west coast, said Mr Saveisberg had been walking along the beach road - formally known as Thaweewong Road - where many restaurants place seafood on display so diners can see the freshness of ingredients.

''It was about 1am and we believe the Australian tourist had had too much to drink,'' the officer said. ''He picked up two prawns and kept walking. The staff saw that he had taken two tiger prawns and quickly pursued him.''

''Give them back! Give them back!'' the female staffer from the Tropica Bungalow Hotel's restaurant yelled as she chased the tourist and the prawns.

Mr Saveisberg kept walking, slipping the raw prawns into the pocket of his jeans, according to police.

In the well-known tourist walking street of Soi Bangla the restaurant staffer caught up with the Australian, quickly joined by police who had responded to the clamor.

Mr Saveisberg was taken to the police station where officers persuaded him to take the two prawns from the pocket of his jeans.

A charge of night theft in Thailand carries severe penalties, including jail. Police opted to not impose that charge.

Mr Saveisberg was fined 500 baht for being drunk and disorderly, and allowed to go. It's not known what happened to the prawns.

Australians have an expression, ''don't come the raw prawn with me,'' so the quirky incident is likely to be reported widely in Mr Saveisberg's home country.

An Australian mother of three from Melbourne, Annice Smoel, achieved unwanted fame when she allegedly souvenired a large, distinctive beer mat from the Aussie bar in Soi Bangla in 2013.

Police in Patong say Australians do cause problems when holidaymakers have too much to drink.

Tiger prawns fetch about 1200 baht a kilo on Phuket at current prices.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Maybe he wanted directions to the Tiger Disco known as a good place to trawl for a catch or he was just hungry and there were no low flying ducks.

Posted by Manowar on March 28, 2015 07:42


He should have been charged, tried and sentenced. Night theft is a very serious offence that should be punished with a minimum of 6 months in jail.

Posted by Judge on March 28, 2015 08:53

Editor Comment:

Let's leave it to the law, Judge.


Just another drunk tourist who thinks he can get away with things here he would not think of doing in his home country,

Posted by peter allen on March 28, 2015 10:45


Oh manowar. Please stop it, my sides are splitting here...

Posted by sateeb on March 28, 2015 11:06


Hahahaha, a pleasant reading ( this story). Well, beside a fine of 500 thb ( very reasonable) the police could have forced him to have at that restaurant a Tiger Prawns lunch or dinner for 2 persons, and of course paid for it with a extra good tip for the staff. Than all are friends again. :)

Posted by Kurt on March 28, 2015 11:32


Maybe he just wanted to put another shrimp on the barbie?

Posted by Matt on March 28, 2015 15:19


he asked do you serve prawns here we serve anyone here mate!
what a prawn he is wonder they didn't take him to the airport and send him packing.

Posted by slickmelb on March 28, 2015 15:32


I suspect the Aussie is just a prawn in a bigger scheme as police troll to catch the really big fish.

Posted by spuds on March 28, 2015 19:06


one story of his vacation he won't be telling back home.

Posted by mike on March 28, 2015 22:14


Maybe Jacob could start a new TV series called "Prawn Stars."

It would be a lot better than "Pawn Stars" (A very popular North American TV show) IMHO..

And with a name like "Saveisberg," customers would lining up and salivating for Jacob's Jumbo Prawn offerings, at a quaint 800 Baht per Kilo, as he climbs his own Jacob's ladder into the ultra-illustrious top 100 "Quality Tourists" in Thailand, first half of 2015.

He's got a LONG way to go to get into the top ten. Good luck with that.

Posted by farang888 on March 29, 2015 05:36


I must apologize for my previous post. Jumbo Prawns sure went up in the year since I've been in Phuket! 800 Baht seems like a distant memory now..those prawns went on the Barbie, the smell was wafting through the air..

Good Aye?

Posted by farang888 on March 29, 2015 05:45


And when these sea food outlets will be finally charged with crimes of overcharging customers, as many of them operate weighting equipment maliciously adjusted to show a larger weight??

I carry often to such outlets portable weights with a hook, and few signed use plastic bags - when I plan such visits in advance and have suspicious that their weights are miscalibrated - very often the difference is up to 20-30%!!

P.S. farang888 largest prawns - if these are those that you refer as Jumbo Prawns - which are 250-350gr per piece - are smth. like 1,800-2,800 THB/kg, if you get 1800 figure for quality stuff you are already lucky

Posted by Sue on March 29, 2015 06:48


Oh Sue,
I can just imagine you taking some scales out to dinner in addition to copies of Acts relating to weights and measures.
And the conversation over dinner I assume would be unbalanced!

Posted by Manowar on March 29, 2015 08:02



of cause the issue of properly calibrated scale is relevant when buying higher priced stuff, not clams 200B/kg or regular fish for 500B/kg, like giant prawns, or shellfish marketed under "Phuket lobster" trade name.

E.g. when buying Giant Prawns - those ones which are Macrobrachium rozenbergii (Goong Pao), if scales are not working properly you get wrong reading not only for the total weight but you can be tricked into paying also irrelevant price for the product as the pricing scheme for Giant Prawns is appr. the following:

5 pcs. in 1 kg = X THB per kilo
4 pcs. in 1 kg = X+10-15% THB per kilo
3 pcs. in 1 kg = X+20-30% THB per kilo

So if scales are miscalibrated by 30% - say you chose 3 giant prawns - vendors scales shows 1kg, but on your scales it is just 750gr.. - then these prawns are also in a cheaper pricing category , so cumulative fraud is 40-45% of the total amount to pay.

I am not aware that there is in Thailand mandatory requirement to verify scales every year - like in Europe, probably the same in Australia. So may be good shops and alike only do regular verification .

I looked at TISI website, and there are just 97 accredited laboratories for calibrating in the field of "Force, Mass, Dimension, Pressure and Relevant Mechanical Fileds" - so in regard of mass there even few for the whole Kingdom. Even if big part of scales owners would decide to verify their scales it simply would be unattainable 'cause a lack of testers.

Posted by Sue on March 30, 2015 18:45


Sue, I agree scales should be correct but I found amusement in your comment that you would actually take an instrument with you to confirm the correct weight of your purchase. I wish I was there to see and video it.
Until then, Im going to keep a lookout for a person carrying scales while dining out and once I locate you, I will post your photo, with scales, on your fan website. Just so I don't take a photo of the wrong person, Should I be looking for scales having metric, imperial or some obsecure unit of measurement?

Posted by Manowar on March 30, 2015 19:46


The act of stealing these raw prawns could only be considered shellfish. After all it was Fryday.

Posted by Manowar on March 30, 2015 20:04


@Sue: Normally I skip over your silly posts, but in this case something caught my eye. You'll have to do more of your Act searching. Never heard of the Weights and Measures Act, B.E. 2542? I don't know how many operatives they have but I have personally seen them calibrating scales in stores, markets and even scales of street vendors. They are more concerned, and rightly so, with gasoline pumps and you can see them standardising the correct delivery of fuel at gas stations on numerous occasions. That is if you can be bothered to look.

Posted by Pete on March 30, 2015 20:29


Dear Pete,

you so sound loud but quite empty , as neither the Act nor Ministerial Regulation under it establishes general requirements for a regular re-verification if you just use your scales - that was my point, if you have missed it.

In Europe, in general it is a yearly or so procedure, to get new sticker , stamp etc. upon checking your weighing equipment.

Legal obligations in Thailand include very abstract duty of keeping your scales to standard, and re-verification just upon sale or repair.
Re-verification in Thailand required only for , here you're right, only (1)fuel pumps,(2) truck scales and (3) (large) flow meters - every 2 yrs; the rest of measuring equipment is under minuscule risk of periodic inspections, that hardly ever happens on Phuket at establishments I referred too.

Of course, in a country where 10% of margin of distributors of natural gas comes, according to BP, from routine under-filling - and virtually everyone accept it, so what you can expect on Phuket , most touristic place in Thailand - single sale, non-recurring customer; enforcement quite below already low country's average and so on.
You probably seen those "periodic inspections" not on Phuket in seafood restaurants, but at other places where those who would be screwd if measures are not correct , are locals, not tourists.

To be aware that you are screwed for say 50 bucks or even more for a dinner - of giant prawns, or Phuket lobster, or large mud crabs etc., is not my dream experience.
And on Phuket for such seafood items you really pay ,of course, a higher price than at other destinations. Those higher prices have an effect of making demand lower and then supply follows , also seafood is turned over at slower rate - freshness is forgotten quality; and you can't get to alternative stall "behind a corner" to get some better price as majority of Phuketians do not eat such big seafood items, it's not ThongLor at all.
"Civilized" restaurants hardly offer really large seafood items, and when they do - at even more extorniate prices - "Phuket lobster" sometimes well above 4,000B per kg.

It's Phuket reality of fixed scales at seafood restaurants.
And it is very difficult to file complaint about it - you have to call police , who hardly will appear on such complain - for minor incidents they, understandably, ask to file complaint with them at police station. And to fixate evidence is almost impossible.
I file complaint when I see they could be effective , but here most of vendors who have been faced with "different weight" , smile well and then offer almost equal to a difference discount or free items, few even don't allow to use my own scales ; and yes, few yell "Don't like?! - Come back to your country!!".
So these issues are mostly resolved to my satisfaction, and to make a global case about fixed en masse scales on Phuket - makes zero sense.

So I better follow such a bit idiotic routine of checking weight of big seafood items myself with my own spring scales with a hook , and eat it at seafood stalls, then either sponsor 50buck per dinner their owners, or deprive myself of big seafood stuff , eating half that small - but at the same price at upscale seafood establishment.

Posted by Sue on March 31, 2015 03:17



it is nothing very spectacular - simple compact electronic hanging spring scales , 200-400THB, and few medium-sized garbage-grade plastic bags - that all that you need to take with you to a dinner:

vendor puts a seafood item on his scales, fixate a weight,

then you hand him over a plastic bag - without revealing that you have also scales with you,
most put the seafood item in a plastic bag without hesitation on a presumption it is take away raw

then you take this plastic bag, and reveal your scales and take a reading of a weight...

Yes, here comes that moment "O", some faces look naturally surprised, some habitually express Mai Pen Rai :)

Let's check few times first at Patong and Rawai,then also Karon/Kata stalls - you probably will be surprised of readings of weight :)

P.S. Laundry shop also produced very strange measures when I did comparison

Posted by Sue on March 31, 2015 03:30


But have your scales been calibrated and stamped or have you adjusted them to under read?
I suppose we should be thankful that we are not concerned with accurate calibration of length as it's hard to imagine you carrying equipment to measure 1,650,763.73 wavelengths in vacuum of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the levels 2p10 and 5d5 of the krypton 86 atom

Posted by Manowar on March 31, 2015 04:12



yes, of course my scales are properly calibrated - it is a legal requirement for sellers to get an official sticker, at places like HomePro these ones most probably are genuine.
And I do not interfere with scales' design and construction in order to fix some more favorable readings.
You see, most of vendors in question - those whose measure were indeed rather different to mine - agree with readings of my scales as they obviously know very well that their scales have "one little problem".
The problem is that commercial scales bar few exception are not required by law to have regular re-verification.

Actually, I measured only when buying large seafood items - and here are the people with Triple Greed:
- first, they sell those giant prawns at exorbitant prices , some like 2,800B/kg, however something like 1,600B would be more appropriate ; they keep the price regardless that very few want to buy, so it become not fresh, and rot ultimately
- second, they put a price like for most expensive grade of these prawns, at the same time often they sell the cheapest grade (for this kind of prawn)
- third, on top that they cheat with scales , and they had cumulative effect as cheaper lighter grade of prawns looks now as of more expensive selection.

However, recently I found premium Thai seafood BBQ , in the middle of nowhere, where you're not concerned with weight accuracy - as (expensive ) extra to their excellent just 329THB 2hrs BBQ buffet they sell by weight even proper Canadian Lobster, and surprise-surpirise their measures were so accurate : all 800-900 gr, exactly like in specification from supplier!

Posted by Sue on March 31, 2015 06:18


I knew when first reading this article it would end the same way as chickens, snakes and coups but I didnt realise to what scale.

Posted by Manowar on March 31, 2015 09:34


@Sue Taking your own scales to these restaurants is an excellent idea, if more people did this then customers is more likely to get the weight he has paid for.

Posted by Paul on March 31, 2015 10:06


gee sue do they lose face and get defensive or angry if caught out .

Posted by slickmelb on April 3, 2015 23:08

Saturday April 13, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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