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Thai Immigration Frees British Academic Wyn Ellis from Suvarnabhumi Airport Prison

When Wyn Ellis was stopped at Suvarnabhumi airport, immigration officials showed him a 2009 letter in which he was described as a 'danger to Thai society'.

When Wyn Ellis was stopped at Suvarnabhumi airport, immigration officials showed him a 2009 letter in which he was described as a ‘danger to Thai society’.

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BANGKOK – British academic Wyn Ellis, who has British and Thai citizenship, described as a ‘danger to Thai society’ spent four days in a Bangkok prison in a row over plagiarism, said he had been freed after being held for four days at a Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

He was shocked to discover he had been blacklisted over a 2009 letter written by Supachai Lorlowhakarn – a man he had accused of copying his work on a sustainable rice program for the United Nations in Thailand.

I am out and I am off the blacklist,’ Ellis said after spending four days in a cell with 15 other people.‘It’s a relief to be back in my own home. We had a glass of wine last night to celebrate.’

Ellis said immigration officials showed him the 2009 letter after he was detained. In it, he said former National Innovation Agency (NIA) chief Supachai Lorlowhakarn had described him as a “danger to Thai society” and accused him of forgery, stealing government documents and plagiarism.

Supachai sent the letter to Thailand’s immigration bureau after Ellis had filed a complaint to authorities that Supachai had plagiarized from one of his studies.

The NIA told the immigration department last week that it had revoked Supachai’s letter.

Ellis said he had been coming and going to Thailand without any problem, but had lost his Thai passport on a recent trip to Britain and Norway. He was using his British passport when he returned to Thailand on Thursday.

By Panarat Thepgumpanat and Simon Webb

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