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Visa revoked for Swiss man who allegedly assaulted Thai doctor

Written by World Events

The Immigration Bureau has revoked the visa of the Swiss national who allegedly kicked a female Thai doctor, who sat on the staircase of his rented villa on Yamu Beach in Chalong district of Phuket last week.

An urgent letter, signed by Deputy Governor Sattha Thongkham in his capacity as the acting governor, was sent to immigration officials recommending the revocation, claiming that he posed a threat to society who may be a danger to the people of Phuket.

Pol Col Prinya Klinkaesorn, deputy spokesman for the Immigration Bureau, told the media today that Pol Maj-Gen Songplod Sirisukha, commander of the First Division of the Immigration Bureau, signed an order on Wednesday night revoking the visa of Urs Beat Fehr, managing director of Elephant Sanctuary Park Company in Phuket, with immediate effect.

He said Phuket immigration officials will inform the Swiss national of the revocation of his visa and detain him at the immigration detention facility in Phuket, pending his trial on the assault charge.

He added that the suspect has the right to apply for bail to defend the case in court.

The doctor, only identified as “Tharndao”, sat for a rest on the last step of a staircase, leading from the private villa to Yamu Beach when, without warning, she was allegedly kicked in the back by the Swiss man. She was also reprimanded by the alleged assailant’s Thai wife for trespassing on their property.

The doctor later posted the incident on social media, triggering an uproar among people in Phuket.  She also filed a complaint with Chalong district police, accusing the Swiss man of assault.

The Swiss man claimed that he had not deliberately kicked her, but had slipped while walking down the staircase and one of his legs struck the doctor on her back. He later apologised.

The incident has provoked public demand for the return of Yamu Beach to public property and for the dismantling of all constructions encroaching onto public areas of the beach. The staircase, where the doctor was allegedly assaulted, also became a new tourist attraction, with many residents taking photos before its demolition.

The owner of the villa dismantled the staircase yesterday, along breakwaters and a bridge, which were found to be on public land.

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