PHUKET – Tourist Police arrested French National Christopher Pierre Verdino, 28, yesterday (January 16) after he applied to the French embassy to get a new passport, requesting a name change at the same time.
The embassy asked police to arrest him on an outstanding French warrant on a charge of raping a “vulnerable person” in France in 2004.
In French law a vulnerable person may be a child, a handicapped person, or an elderly person. The Tourist Police did not seem sure which kind of vulnerable person was involved.
After his arrest for that offense, he failed to appear in court in France, escaping instead to Thailand in 2007 and setting up home in Patong, becoming a chef in a restaurant there.
“I wanted to start a new life in Thailand,” he said today at the Tourist Police Station.
Before Mr Verdino is handed over to the French, however, he must first appear before the Phuket court for overstaying – his permit to stay in Thailand expired on December 31.
On Monday (January 14), police arrested Bernt Olov Inge Eriksson, aged 67, from Sweden, on the Patong beachfront.
Mr Eriksson is wanted in his home town of Helsingborg, Sweden, for evading taxes totalling B100 million. He escaped to Thailand on June 1, 2010, and set up home here on a retirement basis.
His permit to stay expired in November, and his attempts to extend it resulted in his arrest. Yesterday, (January 16) Mr Eriksson was handed over to Swedish officials for repatriation and legal action. – Nattha Thepbamrung