'Sex gurus' in hot water with police
Thai police have vowed to take legal action against a group of 10 Russians and Belarusians who were arrested this week for allegedly running a training course in Pattaya to improve customers' sexual techniques.
In a weird twist, one of the suspects posted on Instagram that she has new information to offer the authorities regarding the ongoing investigation in Washington into Russian interference in the 2016 US election won by Donald Trump.
Deputy police spokesman Kritsana Pattanacharoen said the group harmed the nation's reputation. Police are now cracking down on transnational crimes and foreigners who break the law or overstay their visas nationwide.
The group was arrested on Monday in a police raid during a "training session" in a Pattaya hotel room. They were charged with working illegally in the country.
Four Russians and two Belarusians were granted bail on Tuesday but their visas have been revoked.
Three other Russians and one Belarusian were denied bail and sent to Chon Buri prison.
One of those arrested who now faces the threat of jail time was Anastasia Vashukevich, an escort from Belarus.
She gained a measure of fame previously by filming a yachting trip with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Sergei Prikhodko, Russia's deputy prime minister.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that she had published videos on Instagram seeking help from American journalists and intelligence agencies.
"I am the only witness and the missing link in the connection between Russia and the US elections -- the long chain of Oleg Deripaska, Prikhodko, Manafort and Trump," she said, offering to trade this information for a way "out of Thai prison".