An elderly Frenchman was arrested and his passport seized after violating the emergency decree closing Pattaya Beach.
The unidentified 80-year-old man was released after paying a 50,000-baht fine late May 3. He complained that even though police called it bail, he claimed he was told it would not be returned, making it a fine. However, he received no receipt or record of the payment, the suspect said.
Adding credence to the idea the 50,000-baht payment was bail, police seized his passport, supposedly to stop him from fleeing the country before prosecution, even though all scheduled outbound flights have been canceled.
Finally, adding insult to injury, the Frenchman said he was released from jail after the 10 p.m. curfew and was charged 2,000 for him, his girlfriend and two other arrested friends to be escorted home.
Police did not comment on the case and octogenarian’s claims are unverified.
His girlfriend, 42-year-old “Pim”, said her beau was also worried that he wasn’t allowed to have his original passport or a copy. His visa expires May 15, but the Immigration Bureau has provided automatic extensions to all 30/60/90 days visas until July 31. It is unknown what visa the Frenchman had in his passport, but one year visas are not included in the automatic extensions.
Pim said the Frenchman has lived in Pattaya for years and has a circle of elderly European friends and they all were congregating on the beach in violation of the emergency decree when they were arrested.