Two young men visiting Chiang Mai from Australia, Paul Johnson and Jacob McGrath, were staying at a guest house in the city, and returned to their room reportedly to find a number of expensive items missing – including a digital camera, an iPod, a laptop computer and a pair of sunglasses.
After allegedly searching through the guest house property, the pair called Chiang Mai police. All of the missing items were found shortly after the police arrived.
The two men were arrested, and charged with supplying false information to the police.
Although the men were scheduled to fly home to Australia the following day, they were required to remain in custody, pending a court appearance. Just four days after they were arrested, Johnson and McGrath were convicted of the charges and sentences to four months in jail.
The sentence was reduced quickly reduced to two months, due to the two pleading guilty to the charges.
Since their incarceration the two men have been living in a cell with 25 other prisoners, sleeping on thin mattresses and allowed two exercise periods per day of one hour each. It seems that Australian consular authorities were not able to visit the men until after their convictions. Their parents were not aware of the situation until a New Zealand missionary, who visited the jail, subsequently informed them.