Following widespread reports in the U.K. press about a British backpacker who was arrested for “picking up a phone” he intended to hand in, police in Chiang Mai have said on the record that the man was outright lying about what happened.
Multiple British papers including The Daily Mail and Independent claimed that Mr. Christopher Dodd, 29 had picked up a phone outside of Chiang Mai International Airport Feb. 26 and had planned on handing it in when he was arrested by police at his hostel.
Dodd, who’s story constantly changed, claimed among other things that he had only taken the phone back to his room so he could eat a meal before visiting a police station.
The problem is, none of that is true.
Phuping Ratchaniwet Police have said that Dodd was charged with theft and that he had no intention of returning the phone.
The phone itself belongs to a female German tourist and Dodd had changed the password on the phone, deleted personal information on the phone and changed the language to English.
Not exactly the actions of someone who planned to hand the phone into police.
Colonel Ronachai Rodloi, the director of the Phuping Rajaniwet Police Station is quoted as saying that “such behavior conflicts with Mr. Dodd’s claim that he intended to return the phone to the owner.”
It gets better, Dodd is said to have confessed through an interpreter.
Hence he was charged with theft and processed through the system as per Thai law and as would be the case in western countries as well.