FBI fails to meet jailed sex coaches
FBI agents unsuccessfully tried to see a pair of self-styled "sex coaches" detained in a Bangkok jail who claim they have evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election, a senior Thai official told CNN.
Belarusian nationals Anastasia Vashukevich, aka Nastya Rybka, and Alexander Kirillov, aka Alex Lesley, sent a handwritten letter last month to the US embassy in Bangkok asking for help in getting released in exchange for information on the alleged meddling in the US election.
The FBI agents contacted the Immigration Bureau last week to try to set up a meeting, the source in the department said, according to a CNN report on Tuesday. The request was turned down by Thai officials because only legal representatives and family members of detainees are permitted access, added the source.
Ms Vashukevich had gained a measure of fame previously by filming a yachting trip with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Sergei Prikhodko, Russia's deputy prime minister.
Asked about the FBI's attempt to meet the pair, a spokesman for the US embassy in Bangkok referred CNN to a statement released last week. "We are aware of media reports of this individual's arrest. She is not a US citizen, and we would refer you to Thai law enforcement for further questions," it said, referring to Ms Vashukevich.
Thai police on Feb 26 arrested a group of 10 Russians and Belarusians for allegedly running a training course in Pattaya to improve customers' sexual techniques.
They were charged with working illegally in the country. Four Russians and the two Belarusians were granted bail but their visas have been revoked. They are in immigration police custody. Three other Russians and one Belarusian were denied bail and sent to prison.
Attendees were reportedly given certificates in sexual skills after completing the course. Trainers and trainees were wearing T-shirts bearing the words "sex animator". Police said trainees paid about 20,000 baht each for the course.