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Phuket Prosecutors Presses Charges on 9 More in “Seasteading” Case

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PHUKET – Wanchat Chunhathanom, the state prosecutor in Phuket, Thailand has said charges will be pressed against an additional nine suspects, for their alleged involvement in the illegal construction of an illegal “seastead.”

Among the nine suspect, seven are Thai, one is German and one is of an unknown nationality.

Mr Wanchat did not name all nine suspects in the case, but did identify a German man, Coch Ruger, the owner of Ocean Builders, the company that helped the pair install the seastead.

The Seasteading made headlines earlier this year when an American, Andrew Elwartowsky and his Thai wife, Suranee “Nadia” Thepdet, were found to be operating one such housing platform approximately about 14 nautical miles (26 kilometres) off the Phuket coastline.

According to the Bangkok Post, Mr Elwartowsky and his wife, Ms Suranee, were also accused of persuading people to build seasteads off the Phuket coast. The pair was earlier summoned to report to police on June 25, but did not show up.

The seastead, which has now been removed from its site and brought back to Phuket, was the first of 20 more such structures that were to be built and installed at the location.

The seastead was seen as a threat to Thai sovereignty under Section 119 of the same law, and was illegal under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Wanchat said.

He went on to say people found guilty of owning Seasteads, or  settlements structures located in an area of the sea just outside the jurisdiction of this country, will be “subject to the death sentence” under Section 129 of the Criminal Code.

Source: Bangkok Post, Phuket News


Couple ‘Seasteading’ Violate Thai Sovereignty