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Australian mum arrested in Thailand for stealing bar mat

An Australian tourist and mother of three children, Annice Smoel was arrested in Phuket, Thailand for stealing a ‘bar mat’. She says one of her friends put the mat in her bag as a joke. When undercover police confronted her in the bar, she left the bar, but police caught up with her and she spent the following two nights in a holding cell.

Typical outrage is going on from the Australian media, including 3aw.com.au who have some interviews with her Australian lawyer, Annice herself and her husband. Australians always seem surprised when they get caught for something overseas, that the government doesn’t come running to get them out of jail.

It is a sad story – a fun night that goes completely wrong, but she now has to face the Thai justice system. Since the story has now broken and international media have picked it up, it will be interesting to see if this will help or hinder her case. She faces two to five years jail time.

There are already talks of Australians planning to boycott visiting Phuket.

4 comments

1 eTravelAsia » Blog Archive » Australian mum arrested in Thailand for stealing bar mat { 05.18.09 at 11:47 pm }

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2 sam g { 05.20.09 at 12:18 am }

serves her right to go to jail.
when you show disrespect to the Thai people and their culture as she has, then she is asking for trouble.
she made fun of the way food is placed in plastic bags belittling the local food standards, and looking down at the Thai people and their culture. is she crazy?
when will arrogant Australians such as this learn that just because they think they are special and pretty, and have more money than sense, that they can get away with acting recklessly and then be disrespectful to a local culture.
she is just so transparent, and she is such a bad ambassador for the aussie people. Being arrogant,snobby, belittling and a bad attitude will see she gets what she deserves.
As i travel to phuket and thailand regularly I know what I am talking about.

3 mike { 06.14.09 at 8:30 am }

Are the Australians out of there mind? so it’s alright to steal in a foreign country? If an outsider were to steal in australia, should they expect the same sympathy? to be let off of the hook and give australians bad publicity? The govenor of phuket even came to pay her fine and apologize to her for her inconvenience, which is not even necessary, talking about thai hospitality! Shame on you australians. She even sold her story to the press, and plans to take her kids to disney land … yea take her kids to the disney land for her story of trying to steal in thailand! great example! Lets review her charges – stealing, resisting arrested, attempted escape, disorderly conduct = $30 fine and 2 nights in jail … Profit $20,000 from her story – Priceless

4 Karachi Hotel { 09.09.09 at 9:53 pm }

To err is human.There can be some problem with Australian girl,
This is very sad story about this girls.

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