34-year-old Benjamin Robert Simpson has proved yet again that for foreigners, illegal narcotics and Thailand do not mix. The UK tourist is facing a slew of serious charges that could see him jailed for a long time after a hair-brained day at sea in a newly purchased speed boat captained by a young man he hired as the craft’s skipper who has also been charged. Officers are still reported to be investigating the Brit who they say is a wealthy man due to his cryptocurrency trading activities.
A wealthy UK cryptocurrency trader, living in Thailand on a tourist visa, was charged with serious drug and firearms offences on Thursday on Ko Samui after terrifying locals and staff at a nearby luxury resort by firing off illegal guns. One of the charges being processed by senior police officers on the island could, in theory, see him sent away for life or even have a death sentence imposed by the court if he fails to own up to the charges pressed against him.
A 34-year-old British man was arrested in his luxury hotel bedroom at the Four Seasons Hotel in the Ang Thong area of Ko Samui on Thursday after he had spent the day terrifying both staff members at the resort and local villagers by shooting off a collection of guns that he owned and was in possession of illegally, while taking a joyride on his speedboat high on drugs.
Unfortunately, for Mr Benjamin Robert Simpson, when the police team dispatched to the resort accosted him and his speedboat driver 22-year-old Geerati Glinubol, not only did they find the illegal guns and a range of ammunition but they also found quantities of the drug crystal methamphetamine, enough according to the local police chief, to prefer not only charges of illegal possession of a class 1 type narcotic but also enough to charge Mr Simpson with intent to distribute the drug.
One charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years while the drug distribution charge could theoretically mean life or worse because of the drugs found
The former charge carries a potential jail sentence of up to 10 years while the latter could mean life in prison or, at least in theory, the imposition of the death penalty by a court of law in Thailand.
This is highly unlikely in any event as the death penalty is usually waived by the court under certain circumstances including a guilty plea to the charges.
Police are reported to have found nearly 7grams of crystal methamphetamine in the five-star hotel bedroom in addition to other drugs and two methamphetamine pipes.
Senior police officer says Simpson acquired wealth through cryptocurrency trading activity online
Details of the case were given by a senior police officer on Ko Samui on Thursday to the media.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Chatchewin Nakmoosik, the Deputy Chief of Police on the idyllic island, revealed that the UK man, Mr Simpson, was living in Thailand on an extended tourist visa. However, it appears, according to police investigations, that he is a wealthy cryptocurrency trader.
It is understood that Mr Simpson had purchased the speedboat and employed Mr Geerati to captain the craft for him.
Set off on the speedboat to travel around the coast of the island returning to cause mayhem
On Thursday, they set out to sail off the coast of Ko Samui but before they left, the pair began to take methamphetamine.
It is understood that as they returned to shore near the hotel, high on the drug, Mr Simpson and his speed boat captain were heard firing off shots from firearms they were carrying on the boat.
The noise from offshore alarmed locals and reportedly caused some staff and guests at the hotel to cower in fear.
Police found the men in their hotel bedroom
This is when Ko Samui police were called into to investigate. By the time they arrived, the craft had landed, and the two men were found in their hotel bedroom where they were arrested.
Police arrived at the scene heavily armed given the nature of the reports they had received from frightened residents nearby on the island.
Police recovered two guns from Mr Simpson, a Beretta and a Revalver branded weapon, all handguns and 9mm in calibre while the young man had brought along a gun owned by his father, a 9mm carbine.
Handcuffed Simpson and took him into custody
Police immediately handcuffed the 34-year old Simpson and took him into custody at a Ko Samui police station as officers further investigated the affair.
‘There is a category 1 narcotics in possession for distribution without permission. Possession of firearms and ammunition without permission. Carrying firearms to the town and village or in public without reasonable cause. Shooting a gun using gunpowder in the village or community or the public way,’ said Police Lieutenant Colonel Pongkhajorn Sukksang of Ko Samui as he outlined the extent of charges facing the UK national for his day at sea which terrified locals on the popular holiday island in Surat Thani province.