Tourist arrested over TikTok fishing video
published : 16 Aug 2022 at 11:53
A Dutchman has been arrested in Phuket on a charge of illegally catching parrotfish in the waters of Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park in Krabi province, after a TikTok video of him spearfishing drew outrage from local residents.
National park officials detained Roslan Bendenia in Phuket on Monday afternoon and took him in for questioning, according to Natural Resources and Enviroment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa, who posted the information on his TOP Varawut Facebook account.
The video showed the man with two endangered parrotfish and three other unidentified fish and stabbing a sea eel. It was shown on the TikTok account @roslanofficial.
Sophon Thongee, director-general of the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, had earlier said the video showed the man with three parrotfish, two other fish, and stabbing a sea eel.
Mr Bendenia, 22, allegedly told police he had rented a boat to go from Koh Phi Phi Don to Koh Phi Phi Leh in Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. The captain was Krisana Thodthing. He rented a speargun from a local operator on Koh Phi Phi Don and went fishing at Koh Phi Phi Leh around 1pm on Aug 9.
He said he was not aware the area was inside the national park.
Police were preparing their case against the man and said they would also take legal action against the boat owner and the person who provided the speargun.
Pol Lt Col Ekkachai Siri, inspector with Phuket Tourist Police, said on Tuesday that Mr Bendenia was staying at an apartment building in tambon Rawei in Muang district. Tourist police and national park officials took him to Chalong police station for questioning on Monday afternoon.
During questioning, Mr Bendenia admitted he had caught parrotfish but was unaware that doing so was illegal Pol Lt Col Ekkachai said. He had apologised for his actions on his TikTok account, @roslanofficial.