29-year-old Ohan Baruch picked up a taxi last Saturday and paid ฿2,500 to be taken to Pattaya where he failed to check into a hotel as he could not provide a passport. His surrender to police and public health officials on Wednesday was coordinated between police agencies and the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok.
An Israeli tourist was taken to hospital on Ko Samui this Wednesday afternoon, days after he became the subject of a police manhunt since Saturday for absconding from his hotel ahead of what turned out to be a positive test for COVID-19. However, he may not be out of the woods yet after it was revealed that he is the subject of a police investigation in Thong Lor and that an arrest warrant has been issued for him by a court in Bangkok.
A 29-year-old Israeli tourist was taken by ambulance to Samui Hospital on the holiday island on Wednesday afternoon after he met public health officials accompanied by police at a prearranged rendezvous and surrendered himself.
Ohan Baruch was already the subject of an arrest warrant issued to police at Thong Lor Station in Bangkok after he took flight from his hotel on Saturday last, the 18th December without waiting for the results of his mandatory COVID-19 test.
He had flown into Thailand through Suvarnabhumi Airport last Friday, the 17th of December.
Tested positive for the Delta variant of COVID-19 and not the Omicron strain which has shut down easy entry into Thailand this week until January 4th
The PCR test result showed that the foreign tourist had tested positive for the virus but officials on Wednesday underlined that it was the Delta variant and not the Omicron strain which has already seen Thailand’s ‘Test and Go’ entry regime suspended this week until January 4th 2022 at the earliest.
Omicron nightmare for the already troubled tourism sector: plan to suspend ‘Test and Go’ entry route
Mr Baruch was ultimately tracked down by the central district chief of Samui.
A meeting with police and health officials was organised for 12.30 pm at the Samui Pier Bangrak restaurant in the Bo Phud subdistrict.
Tourist surrendered voluntarily after being in contact with his country’s embassy in central Bangkok
The foreign tourist had indicated to authorities on the island that he wished to surrender voluntarily.
Earlier, the Tourist Police division of the Royal Thai Police had informed police agencies in Bangkok that the Israeli man had made contact with his embassy in Khlong Toei and told them he wished to turn himself in.
It is reported that the Israeli national had earlier been in contact with his national embassy when he learned that he may be facing arrest and prosecution for breaching COVID-19 emergency laws and other offences which were being investigated by officers at Thong Lor Police Station in Bangkok.
If successfully prosecuted by authorities, the Israeli man could face up to 2 years in prison and fines ranging from ฿5,000 to ฿40,000.
Faces up to two years in prison if officers at Thong Lor Police Station pursue a case against him after an arrest warrant was issued this week by a court
Officers from the central Bangkok police station had earlier applied for an arrest warrant which was issued for the tourist while they urged the Department of Disease Control at the Ministry of Public Health to file a complaint against the visitor.
This information was relayed to reporters by police spokesman Police Colonel Kritsana Pattanacharoen and other senior officers.
On Wednesday morning, Mr Niwet Saksri, the assistant chief at the Ko Samui Public Health Office revealed that they had started the hunt for the Israeli on the island after being informed that he had arrived there from Bangkok on Monday.
Picked up a taxi in Sukhumvit on Saturday afternoon to take him to Pattaya where he could not check-in
Reports suggest that on Saturday last, Mr Baruch had left Bangkok in a taxi cab driven by a Mr Nit Kaosaeng who picked up the tourist in front of the Emporium Department store on Sukhumvit Road.
He agreed on a fee of ฿2,500 with the taxi driver. This was at 2 pm on Saturday.
It then appears that the Israeli national had difficulty checking into a hotel in Pattaya as he was not carrying his passport and could not comply with stringent Immigration Police ID requirements being now rigorously enforced to counter the threat from the virus.
This is understood to have led to the Israeli tourist returning to Bangkok.
He had originally been booked into a hotel on Sukhumvit when he absconded on Saturday.
Took a minivan South on Sunday to Ko Samui via Chumphon province arriving on the island this Monday
Staff at the hotel had reported his disappearance to police at Thong Lor Police Station after he could not be found when his positive test result arrived back.
From Bangkok again, it is understood that the foreign tourist headed South driven in a hired minivan on Sunday the 19th December with reports of him in recent days in Chumphon before arriving in Ko Samui on Monday afternoon.
Police suspect the man was assisted by locals in his determined effort to evade authorities trying to enforce critical public health regulations for foreign tourists in the kingdom at this time.
It is not clear if the arrest warrant for the man has been executed or if he will face further police action in connection with the matter.