Police chief in Phuket warns of the danger to foreigners who become intoxicated and the duty of care that exists to foreign visitors who are arriving on the island in increasing numbers as police continue the investigation into the tragic death of a 37-year-old Russian woman in the morning of May 31st in the Patong nightlife district with three foreign tourists facing charges.
Police in Phuket are still examining the case of a 37-year-old Russian woman who died after falling from a balcony of an apartment in the Patong area on Tuesday, May 31st after determining that charges of negligent homicide should be brought against three foreign nationals who were at the apartment at a booze and sex party at the time. It is understood that police have still not ruled out a more serious charge as the investigation proceeds. This week, the second Russian woman at the scene, 35-year-old Natalia Kosenkova, revealed she had been released from custody and accused one of the foreign men who was at the apartment when the incident took place, Jordanian Ahmad Radi Mustafa Alatoom, of behaving ‘inappropriately’ although she insisted to police that the death of her compatriot had been purely an accident for which no one is to blame.
One of the suspects linked with last Tuesday morning’s death of 37-year-old Russian woman Evgenia Smirnova, her 35-year-old compatriot Natalia Kosenkova, has claimed in recent days that she was released from police custody and appeared to suggest that one of those who participated in what Phuket police have described as a drug and alcohol-fueled sex party at a seventh and eight-floor condominium unit in the Patong nightlife area of Phuket, behaved inappropriately.
However, the working model, DJ and former dental assistant insisted that the death of the older Russian woman in the early hours of Tuesday morning last in Phuket’s wild party district was simply an unfortunate accident.
3 Foreigners to face charges under Section 291 of the Criminal Code with negligent homicide
This followed an announcement from police in recent days that the three foreign nationals found at the scene of the deadly party would be facing charges under Section 291 of the Criminal Code for causing the death of Ms Evgenia on May 31st at the Emerald Terrace condominium complex on Phra Baramee Road in Patpong located the Kathu District of Phuket, through negligence.
A conviction under this provision could see the American, Russian and Jordanian nationals jailed for up to 10 years.
Last week, police announced that they had found evidence of alcohol consumption as well as cannabis residue in a plastic bag in addition to condom wrappers and a used condom within both the apartment itself and the balcony area of Apartment 706 which included an unusual balcony spiral staircase linking the 7th and 8th floor of the condominium.
Russian woman released from custody and confident that she is innocent of any wrongdoing in the affair
Ms Natalia was confident in recent days following her release from police custody that she was not culpable in the death of the other Russian woman and would be found not guilty at trial.
‘The case is not complicated because we are not guilty,’ she told a UK newspaper in the last 48 hours. ‘We were held in a cage, but they let us go.’
Speaking with the UK’s Daily Mail newspaper, Ms Natalia who works as a model and DJ, confirmed that she had just been released from police custody after being held in what she described as a cage since all three were arrested last week initially for possession of narcotics.
She insisted that she was an innocent party concerning the death of Ms Evgenia who fell from the balcony area of the condominium from a height of 80 feet suffering fatal head injuries and a broken leg.
‘An unfortunate accident’ says Ms Natalia
‘The only thing I can say is that this was an unfortunate incident, but it was not a murder, and none of the people involved are to blame,’ she explained after she told reporters that she had been advised by her lawyer in Phuket not to speak in detail about the case currently being investigated by police for evidence of a more serious crime.
‘I can say that me and my friend, who I have known for a long time, behaved with dignity and decency,’ she revealed. ‘The police trust us. The police say they are not worried about us.’
It is understood that Ms Natalia was referring to American national Jamaal Antwaun Smith.
She said she had only met Evgenia on the same night after she was invited to the party. She disclosed the deceased had brought along Jordanian man Ahmad Radi Mustafa Alatoom who, she indicated, had misbehaved.
‘I didn’t know Evgenia until that evening. I didn’t know the girl, she just came to the party where we were,’ she revealed. ‘And she called her friend who came, too, and behaved inappropriately.’
Jordanian arrested hours after the incident as he tried to board a plane at Phuket International Airport
Mr Ahmad was arrested in the evening after the early morning death of Ms Evgenia on May 31st at Phuket International Airport as he attempted to board a plane back home to Jordan.
Ms Natalia, this week, claimed that she was just a tourist in Phuket and that the party was simply a ‘booze fest’.
‘I am just a tourist here. I’m an ordinary tourist. ‘It was a regular booze fest, someone dies here every day,’ she declared.
It is now known that the deceased woman had only arrived in Phuket on Wednesday, May 25th and, according to police this week, she was a regular visitor to the holiday island having also visited in April.
Deceased woman was a webcam performer for adult sites who was a regular visitor to Phuket
It has been reported that Ms Evgenia lived in another hotel in the Patong nightlife area also known as a Red light district in Phuket, on Soi Na Nai Ruam Jai 8.
The 37-year-old worked as a webcam presenter for adult entertainment sites and had quite a few social media accounts under different names.
She is reported to have lived in Moscow, having moved to the Russian capital from Nizhny Novgorod, a large Russian city on the Volga when she was younger.
Last Tuesday, police investigators were called to the Emerald Terrace complex in Phuket’s Patong district at 4.20 am and found her body at the bottom of a tree at the rear of the apartment building.
Her hands were found to be clutching human hair and it is believed that this could be critical to the police investigation.
It is currently being forensically analysed.
Police still examining evidence in the case for signs of a dispute or discord at the drink-fuelled sex party
Police briefings suggest that officers are looking for evidence of a dispute during the party at the condominium and are pursuing the theory that someone may have pushed Ms Evgenia to her death or that her fall might have come about during a struggle.
Either way, police believe after studying the statements taken from the three foreigners held in custody last week and interviews that there is enough evidence to pursue a charge of negligence on behalf of the three present at the party, which contributed to the death of the Russian woman.
The autopsy ordered on Tuesday, May 31st revealed that the 37-year-old Russian woman had a very high blood alcohol level when she died.
Hairs found in dead woman’s hand being forensically analysed by police as they deepen their enquiries
Earlier, Phuket Police Major General Sermphan Sirikhon told officers that officers were still considering three theories, that of suicide, an accident or murder.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Chomphunuch Anantayakun gave further insight into the thinking of investigators last week as they interrogated the trio who initially were reported to be uncooperative with investigators, insisting that the death was a simply an unfortunate accident.
‘We believe that the woman might have accidentally fallen from the balcony while looking out at the view. However, it could be a homicide resulting from an argument,’ the policeman explained. ‘We are in the process of interrogating the people involved. The hair in the woman’s hand will go through DNA testing to find who it belonged to.’
Top police officer in Phuket urges caution and care for foreign tourists as he indicates the intoxicated state of the dead Russian woman was a contributing factor
Police Lieutenant General Amphon Buarapphon the commander of Provincial Police Region 8, who is coordinating the investigation into the deaths of the Russians last week referred to the external stairs in the balcony from which the Russian woman fell to her death.
This followed a press conference in which the police commander told reporters that the Russian diplomatic mission to Thailand was satisfied with police enquiries into the matter.
The senior police officer used the occasion to warn of the need to take special care of foreign tourists in Phuket who were now arriving on the island in increasing numbers at a rate of four thousand per day.
He noted that Ms Smirnova was in a highly intoxicated state when she attempted to climb the unusual external stairs between the floors in the apartment.
‘I ask everyone to help take care of the tourists, and what is implied in such an incident, such as tourists getting drunk or travelling alone or in dangerous places and so on, please help support and take care of tourists,’ he declared to reporters.
‘Now tourists are starting to come in, about four thousand people a day, with Phuket regaining its popularity as a tourist destination, which is good and beneficial for the economy. We ask people to take care of tourists, in particular, we ask people to take care of them because they are our paying guests.’