This is not a good time to be the mayor of Samui. Late last week, Mayor Ramnet Jaikwang received the news that his teenage nephew had been arrested along with two friends for snatching the bag of a Chinese female tourist.
The mayor has been working hard to attract Chinese tourists to the island after the Chinese government recently lifted a ban on tourism to Thailand. However, plans to promote the safety and community spirit of Koh Samui seem to have blown up in his face when his 17-year-old nephew and his friends, the 18-year-old Veerayut Chauykhongma and a 16-year-old girl were arrested by a team of policemen and volunteers in a woodland hideout.
It seems that the three teenagers snatched the bag of Seal Mai Ma, a 24-year-old tourist from China, while she was walking along the Lamai beach road. The teenagers sped towards Seal Mai Ma in a Honda Click motorbike and grabbed the bag, which contained US$200 in cash as well as Visa and Master cards and a mobile phone.
However, Mayor Ramnet will be awarding his nephew no special privileges. “There is no protection for anyone if he is guilty. Anyone committing a crime must be penalized,” Ramnet said in a recent statement to the Samui Express.