A self-described Belarusian sex coach who was entangled in a Russian political scandal has been cleared of charges she performed illegal work in Thailand, but will remain behind bars to face other charges that could put her in prison for up to 17 years, officials said Tuesday.
Anastasia Vashukevich, who says she had a brief affair with Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, grabbed widespread media attention in February when she was arrested with nine other foreigners after Thai police raided their sex training course in Pattaya, south of Bangkok.
Police initially charged her and the nine others with working without a permit, but authorities early this month said all 10 had been charged with soliciting prostitution and conspiracy to form a crime syndicate. The two charges carry a combined maximum prison term of 17 years, legal experts said.
Three of the 10 foreigners were found guilty of working illegally and were each fined $100, police said. Two of the defendants have been deported, according to immigration officials, who declined to elaborate.
“I confirm that we have accused the remaining eight suspects with soliciting prostitution and conspiracy to form a crime syndicate,” Col. Apichai Krobpetch, chief of the Pattaya police station, told BenarNews by phone on Tuesday.
“Investigating officers have sought court permission for their remand and I hope we can file the case to the prosecutor within this week,” he said.
The 21-year-old Vashukevich, who has written a book about seducing billionaires, catapulted to fame in early February after Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny posted a 25-minute “investigative report” on YouTube.
Full story: BenarNews
Wilawan Watcharasakwet and Nontarat Phaicharoen
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