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Arrest warrants for two British executives over fire at luxury Koh Kood resort - Thai surrenders


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Picture: Thai Rath

 

Former head of immigration Lt-Gen Sompong Chingduang - now a top aide to the Royal Thai Police - was in Trad, eastern Thailand, yesterday to check up on developments in the case against the owners of Soneva Kiri Resort on the holiday island of Koh Kood. 

 

A fire at the resort on March 6th that started in Pool Villa #63 destroyed much of the facility and caused injury.

 

Sompong said that RTP chief Pol Gen Suwat Chaengyodsuk had put him in charge of following up on the case that was an important one for tourism confidence. Action is being taken against the juristic person of the company that runs the resort, namely Tropical Island Co. Ltd.

 

Arrest warrants have been issued on June 17th for two British nationals - Sonashah Shivdasani, 45 and 40 year old Karl French. 

 

A Thai woman who represented the juristic person responded to a summons and spoke to investigators on Wednesday. She is Paphatchaya Awaiyanon, 37.

 

All are charged with negligence over the fire causing injury and danger to life and not having the required licences to operate. 

 

Thai Rath did not speculate on the location of the British nationals named in the warrants.

 

Sompong said that he wanted the case resolved quickly to ensure confidence among both Thai and foreign tourists and assured there would be fairness to all sides. 

 

A representative of the victims of the fire called Chainan - who is also the elder brother of a Thai doctor (Dr O) who suffered a back injury as a result of the blaze - presented a gift basket to the police for their work so far on the case. 

 

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Is this just another "foreigner issue" fire problem......no-one else to blame?

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4 hours ago, webfact said:

Sompong said that he wanted the case resolved quickly to ensure confidence among both Thai and foreign tourists and assured there would be fairness to all sides. 

LOL

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4 hours ago, ChrisY1 said:

Is this just another "foreigner issue" fire problem......no-one else to blame?

Why would it be important what nationality the perpetrator has? And why do you need someone to blame? 

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3 hours ago, cocoonclub said:

Why would it be important what nationality the perpetrator has? And why do you need someone to blame? 

Look at any Thai headline on crime and if a foreigner is involved it is always well displayed. The inference always being that Thai's would never do such a thing, all evidence to the contrary. It is a form of journalistic 'face saving'.

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Is a high end luxury resort, but villas looked like they were built out of natural materials like nipa when I was in Koh Kood a few years ago.. Just like a lot of other resorts here. Maybe that's why there was a fire.

 

I believe rich guests could fly from Bangkok on a small plane to an airstrip cut out of a neighbouring island. Then a five or ten minute speedboat trip to the resort. Thereby reducing travel time.

 

Sonashah Shivdasani is a British-Indian  hotelier: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonu_Shivdasani

 

I presume he is wanted due to his position  in the company that owns and/or runs the resort.

 

Shows it is still taking bookings on Agoda. August. approx THB86,000 reduced to 33,000. So licence or not it may still be open.

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23 hours ago, webfact said:

All are charged with negligence over the fire causing injury and danger to life and not having the required licences to operate. 

Does anywhere?

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what injuries were done?  As for causing a danger to life, well, a danger does not mean anything actually happened.  Sounds like a witch hunt, a little bit.  But being unlicensed, well, that has more legal force behind it.  The Thai image thing is over done, but that does come up in Thailand, so one needs to be aware of that when traveling there. 

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