Immigration to review Swiss man's visa after beach 'assault'

Immigration to review Swiss man's visa after beach 'assault'

Phuket: Immigration police will review the visa of a Swiss national at the centre of an assault case in Phuket, said deputy Phuket governor Adul Chuthong, adding they are the ones with the authority to make any decisions on visa-related matters.

Aerial photographs of Cape Yamu show the extent of development in the neighbourhood back in 2002, left, and last year. (Photo: Phuket Info Center)

Citing information from immigration, Mr Adul said Urs Fehr, also known as David, has a visa that is set to expire on March 13. The Swiss man operates a number of businesses in Thailand and has a registered foundation under his name.

"Immigration will review Mr Fehr's visa status and decide whether or not to extend the visa when it expires," he said, adding authorities are also looking at the legality of his businesses and foundation in the country.

Mr Fehr came under intense scrutiny after he was reported by 26-year-old Thandao Chandam, a doctor at Dibuk Hospital, for assault after he kicked Dr Thandao and her friend in their backs as they sat stargazing on the beach in front of the villa rented by him on Feb 24.

He claimed the pair were trespassing on his property, but a subsequent investigation determined the steps were built on public land.

Mr Adul said Mr Fehr had been given 30 days to remove them.

If he does not comply, local authorities will dismantle them and charge him the cost of the work, he said.

Mr Fehr has been charged with assault, but the incident has led to calls for a thorough investigation into his property and businesses.

The deputy governor assured the public that authorities will take action against individuals who encroach on public land, as well as those who behave like they are above the law.

Phuket governor Sopon Suwanrat, meanwhile, has instructed district chiefs and security officials to launch an investigation and report the findings.

Pol Lt Gen Surapong Thanomjit, commissioner of Provincial Police Region 8, said on Monday the police will get to the bottom of the case as immigration police have the authority to revoke visas of criminal offenders and deport them to their countries of origin.

Meanwhile, the Phuket Times on Monday posted a message on social media from Dr Thandao, who thanked the public for giving her moral support. She also pushed for the restoration of public access to the beach where the assault happened.

Fehr: Has visa until March 13

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